Comprising more than 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, presents some profound implications for marketers as it comes of age and takes the reins of the global consumer economy. According to a proprietary study released today by Aimia to coincide with its global rebranding from Groupe Aeroplan Inc., Millennial consumers will change the way companies and brands build sustainable customer loyalty.

To compare the attitudes and behaviours of Millennials to older consumers, Aimia commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct an online study of more than 6,000 consumers in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The Millennial generation is larger than the Baby Boom generation and three times the size of Generation X,” said Rick Ferguson, Vice President Knowledge Development for Aimia. “Across the globe, the Baby Boom generation is retiring, and as such it’s critically important for marketers to understand how Millennial attitudes towards technology, data privacy and rewards will change the way brands build strong, profitable relationships with their best customers.”

The first part of this study, “Born This Way: The US Millennial Loyalty Survey,” focuses on Millennial Consumers in the US. Aimia will release subsequent reports on UK and Canadian Millennials in October and November 2011, respectively. The Millennial Loyalty Survey presents a comprehensive view of customer loyalty expectations among the next great cohort of consumer spending. Our high-level findings for all markets include the following:

Loyalty Behaviours

Over 75 per cent of Millennial consumers claim participation in loyalty and reward programs.

Over 75 per cent of Millennials are more likely to choose a brand that offers a loyalty or reward program over a brand that doesn’t offer one.

In unprompted responses, Millennials rate loyalty rewards as the top incentive they look for in exchange for sharing personal information with marketers.

UK Millennials are the most eager to engage in loyalty relationships, with nearly one-third (32 per cent) eager to join sight-unseen the reward program of a brand to which they feel loyal, versus 22 per cent in Canada and 19 per cent in the US.

Nearly half of Millennials are willing to promote products or brands through social media in exchange for rewards.

Canadians are more charitably-minded when compared to the UK and US, with nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) interested in participating in rewards programs connected to a charity or a social cause, compared to 12 per cent in the UK and 9 per cent in the US.

Millennials in the US had the highest percentage for stating they would be more likely to do business with a company after earning a reward (78 per cent US vs. 69 per cent Canada and 67 per cent UK).

Mobile Technology

Millennials are skeptical of the value of location-based marketing offers delivered via smart phone, with only one in ten claiming to have responded to such an offer.

Millennials view the option to download coupons or reward certificates as most enticing reason to use a rewards program application on a smart phone.
UK Millennials are most likely to respond to reward program offers on their mobile devices (43 per cent of Millennials in the UK vs. 34 per cent in the US and 38 per cent in Canada).

Fifty-seven per cent of US Millennials use mobile devices to perform price comparisons before making a purchase in a store.

Using a mobile device as a substitute for carrying a plastic loyalty card is the top requested mobile payment application for Millennials (over one-quarter expressed interest); meanwhile, only one in ten Millennials express interest in using a mobile device as a credit or debit card.