Millennials, Fashion and Brand Loyalty: What Does It All Mean?

Millennial Phones

“Omni-channel engagement & insights platform” maker Punchtab doesn’t just sponsor cool events like the one we attended earlier this month–they also produce their own studies.

The most recent report from the company concerns three things of great  interest to every PR/advertising/marketing pro around: Millennials, their buying habits, and the ways in which to convince them to keep spending money on your brand.

The biggest surprise from the survey of 1,200 young people is that they rely less on social for product recommendations than you might expect, given all the headlines:

60% of young women learn about brands from direct contact/word-of-mouth

They’re also fond of loyalty programs–as long as those programs deliver. More findings and an infographic or two after the jump.

The basic message is one we’ve heard before regarding the younger demographic’s distrust of traditional paid advertising.

There’s reason for optimism, though: despite all the talk of economic difficulty, Millennials don’t just shop more–they spend more of their income on fashion and accessories than other generations, too. This is especially true of young men:

MillFashion

The lesson here is that retail sites, UGC reviews and, most importantly, honest-to-goodness word of mouth are all more important than social media posts. Also: note the value of earned media over paid promotions.

Here’s another graph to further confirm those points:

MillFashion2

Still think your client’s homepage is worthless?

At the same time, the social media numbers are right where you’d expect them to be. For example, young women who are “incentivized and rewarded” are:

  • 3 times more likely to follow and 7 times more likely to share on Twitter
  • 4 times more likely to follow you on Pinterest and 3 times more likely to feature your products on their own board
  • 4 times more likely to watch your videos on YouTube
  • 6 times more likely to upload photos as part of an Instagram campaign

It keeps going, and the key word here is reward. The word doesn’t refer to things with no real-world value like badges, likes, responses or even retweets–it means money and other experiential goodies. For example:

  • 51% of participants value access to “exclusive” events, products and sales
  • They also prize “elite” status, which means perks like expedited checkouts and aggregated points to trade for free stuff

Sure, they talk about privacy and they don’t want to get too much spam–but their major complaint against such programs is that they’re not tailored to their own individual tastes and behaviors.

Essentially, the average Millennial’s response to a given marketing message is “what’s in it for me?” If the answer is to their liking, they’re all too glad to stay loyal to a brand and to give that their data.

We are so hip to that.