There has been plenty of discussion recently on RetailWire about the nature of store loyalty programs. Most panelists agree with me that most of these incentives really don’t accomplish their aim. The question at hand: Can these types of programs work any better for the Millennial consumer?
As panelists have discussed recently, most stores’ loyalty programs are really discounts by another name. These kinds of incentives will be important to Gen Y shoppers, who outnumber Boomers but do not have nearly the same level of spending power. However, it’s well documented that Gen Y shoppers will also respond to marketers that understand their interest in technology and the emotional connection of community. (“Peer marketing” might be a good way to describe it.) Finally, customized rather than mass media are essential to reaching this target most effectively.