Millennials to Brands: Make Loyalty Programs Fun, and Save Us Some Money, Too

COLLOQUY’S nationwide survey shows U.S. 18- to 34-year-olds score 24%
higher than general population on loyalty-needs-to-be-fun question

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Millennials just want to have fun.

That may sound like a Cyndi Lauper lyric. It’s really a crucial insight
for loyalty marketers who want their customer rewards programs to be a
smash hit with the 80-million-strong U.S. consumer segment accounted for
by 18- to 34-year-olds.

In a COLLOQUY-sponsored nationwide survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 34%
of millennials said the word that best describes their participation in
a customer reward program is “fun.” By comparison, 26% of the general
population (18 to 65 years and over) chose the word “fun,” meaning
millennials scored 24% higher on the loyalty-needs-to-be-fun meter.

In an equally revealing survey outcome, 66% of the general population
said “economical” is the word that best describes their loyalty program
participation, versus 56% of millennials, a 15% gap.

The fun-versus-economical results are just two highlights from a larger
set of survey findings that tell marketers millennials are a different
breed when it comes to their engagement with a brand via a rewards
program. Here are other survey results that set millennials apart when
it comes to loyalty programs:

  • 63% of millennials said they had joined a program within the past
    year, versus 55% of the general population, a 13% difference.
  • 25% of millennials said they joined a program in the past year because
    it offered access to members-only events, versus 16% of the general
    population, a 36% difference.
  • 40% of millennials said they joined a program for access to
    members-only sales, products and services, versus 33% of the general
    population, an 18% difference.
  • 63% of millennials said it’s important that their loyalty program
    participation supports lifestyle preferences such as wellness
    programs, sustainability efforts or a charity, versus 53% of Gen X’ers
    (35-50) and 46% of baby boomers (51 and over), differences of 16% and
    27%, respectively.

“Millennials aren’t simply you in a time warp. Yes, you were once their
age, but that doesn’t mean you understand their needs,” said COLLOQUY
Research Director Jeff Berry. “Millennials have dramatically different
ideas about consumerism and loyalty than other demographics,” he said.

Berry’s tip for loyalty marketers: “Prioritize experiences over economic
gains, because millennials love to try new things. And gamify

In other key findings from the COLLOQUY survey, 49% of millennials
stopped using a loyalty program after receiving irrelevant
communications, compared to 37% of the general population, a 24%
difference; and 18% of millennials stopped participating in a program
because it lacked a smartphone app, compared to 13% of the general
population, a 33% difference.

Moreover, a little over one-quarter of millennials (27%) continued their
participation in a loyalty program because it featured a competitive
game, or a social element such as badges, leaderboards or communities.
By comparison, just 7% of baby boomers stayed with a program for those
reasons, representing a gap of 74%.

Finally, 42% of millennials continue to participate in a program because
it has a mobile payment option, while just 15% of baby boomers said the
same, a 64% difference.

The survey-based revelations about U.S. millennial attitudes and
preferences are part of a larger COLLOQUY report on loyalty program
effectiveness. That report, Customer
Loyalty in 2015 & Beyond: Are You Wasting Your Money?
, is
available for a free download. COLLOQUY, operated by LoyaltyOne, is a
leading provider of loyalty marketing research, publishing and education.

The COLLOQUY survey results are based on an online survey in August 2015
of 1,000 American consumers. The margin of error is +/- 5% at the 90%
confidence level.


Celebrating its 25th year, COLLOQUY has served as a leading publishing,
education and research practice, bringing together
loyalty practitioners from around the world. A pioneer in the industry,
COLLOQUY is the first publication dedicated expressly to the art and
science of loyalty marketing and has since become the go-to resource for
loyalty intelligence. Today COLLOQUY engages and educates loyalty
marketers with its magazine, weekly e-newsletter and timely and
comprehensive loyalty-marketing website,
In each issue of the magazine, the “COLLOQUY
” feature highlights excellence in loyalty. COLLOQUY
delivers industry-leading loyalty benchmarking reports and educational
workshops, webinars and speeches. The COLLOQUY Summit is the premiere
annual loyalty event. Advertising, sponsorship and publishing
opportunities are available via the COLLOQUY Network, a global
partnership of loyalty service providers. COLLOQUY is an independently
operated division of LoyaltyOne. To learn more, visit


Tim Sansbury, 513-231-5115
Arnold, 513-231-5115