Brand loyalty is a common concept in the retail world today, with many customers now know to favour one brand above its competitors. However, does one generation stand out from the others when it comes to how loyal they are to a brand? Stylish genuine leather iPhone case providers TORRO, who themselves are looking to build up their brand with a clothing range and other trendy accessories, investigates…
Understanding the different generations
Before we delve into a few different studies to try and understand which generation is most loyal to brands, let’s first ensure we understand what is meant by the different groups currently in our society.
There are five primary generations with spending power, with the oldest of these being deemed Veterans. Born between 1922 and 1943, the majority of people in this category will now be enjoying their retirement. However, they are the generation who lived through the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Due to this, this is a group of people who value hard work, sacrifice and conformity to rules — in effect, they often live by the belief that everyone must pay their dues and that respect, authority, status and rewards must all be earned.
Next along the generation timeline is the Baby Boomer generation, who were born between 1943 and 1960 and witnessed both the Women’s Liberation movement and the Civil Rights movement. Therefore, they are known to have challenged the status quo and liked to seek immediate gratification and attempt to fulfill their personal goals. This is a generation filled with individuals who are well educated, ambitious and not afraid to multi-task, valuing team involvement and personal growth.
Up next is Generation X. Born between 1960 and 1980, this is a group who lived through the fall of the Berlin Wall and were brought up while MTV was on the rise. This generation is self-sufficient, skeptical and independent, with individuals valuing a work/life balance, the use of technology to complete tasks, informality and diversity.
Generation Y / Millenials
Then there’s Generation Y, who are often also referred to as Millennials and were born between 1980 and the year 2000. Computers and technology in general were a huge part of their upbringing, while TV talk shows became very popular and they also witnessed the girl’s movement. This is a generation who is sociable, optimistic and confident, not to mention the fact that they don’t always understand their limitations. These individuals value both a sense of achievement and multi-tasking, while they are most accepting of change and diversity.
That brings us to the youngest generation in our society today — Generation Z. Also referred to as Post-Millennials, this is a group of people who were born since around 1996 and so have lived through 9/11 and its aftermath, read various news reports about war, and witnessed an economic recession that was felt worldwide. As they steer closer to the end of their educational lives and enter the world of work, this is a generation who are more self-aware, driven and self-reliant — as well as cautious and socially minded.
Brand loyalty among the generations
So, which of these generations value brand loyalty the most? After analysing the findings of a series of studies, two generations seem to stand out from the rest — Generation X and Generation Y.
The case for Generation X
According to a study by eMarketer, Generation X currently has the highest rate of loyalty of any of the generations in our society. Many people in this group are less inclined to try new brands, with over four in ten of those in this assembly willing to stick to the brands which they know and trust.
The eMarketer study went on to reveal that around 70 per cent of those in the US and 30 per cent of those from other English-speaking countries who were questioned said that brand loyalty was highest among consumers deemed to be in the Generation X group.
Noah Elkin, the principal mobile analyst at eMarketer’s New York department, commented: “Generation X wants to have a more authentic contact with the brand. It’s about getting things that are specially marketed to them.”
The case for Generation Y
Two separate reports published by CrowdTwist and Elite Daily offer a different view where brand loyalty is concerned. According to both studies, more than half of those in the Generation Y group said that they were either quite loyal or extremely loyal to their favourite brands.
Elite Daily went on to find in their research that 62 per cent of Generation Z individuals were more loyal to brands which engaged directly with consumers via social media channels.
With CrowdTwist also finding that close to 50 per cent of respondents wanted to see socially conscious benefits such as one-of-a-kind rewards and experiences or charitable giving due to brand interactions, CrowdTwist’s SVP of Marketing Geoff Smith pointed out to Inc.com: “Essentially, what customers are responding positively to are personal, authentic connections.
“By engaging one-on-one via social media or building in socially responsible aspects to the customer engagement strategy, brands are building strong, emotionally driven relationships that will stand the test of time.”