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Brand relationships: baby boomers vs millennials

 

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While many brands are focused on targeting millennials through social media and personalised communication, there’s a risk of ignoring Australia’s most affluent generation—the ‘baby boomers’.

Customer loyalty agency, ICLP, today unveiled the second phase of its ‘Deeply Devoted’ research, which gives insight into what boomers look for when they engage with brands. Namely, they just want companies to stand by their products.

Measuring the sentiment of over 750 Australians using metrics including ‘trust’, ‘recognition’ and ‘reliability’, ICLP discovered older consumers have more simple desires when it comes to brand relationships, compared to generation X and millennials.

Simon Morgan, ICLP Australia general manager, said brands shouldn’t forget about baby boomers in their quest to reach younger consumers.

“While the market is obsessing about digital transformation and figuring out how to talk to millennials, it’s important to remember boomers are big spenders and, crucially, they’re not digital natives,” he explained.

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“Boomers hold over 50 per cent of Australia’s wealth, while making up only 25 per cent of the population.”

This is what the research says baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, and millennials, born between 1982 and 2004, are looking for.

Reliability

When it comes to a brand’s reliability the generations expect different things. On the one hand, 59 per cent of baby boomers said they want to be able to rely on product consistency and quality, while 43 per cent of millennials want decent customer service.

It is also important for 23 per cent of millennials to receive a response from social media, while only 6 per cent of boomers thought the same.

Respect and trust

The age groups also differ on the issue of respect. Boomers see respect as a brand’s ability to apologise if things go wrong and rectify it quickly, whereas millennials worry more about the treatment of the data they share with them.

According to the research, boomers build trust with brands that own their mistakes, while for millennials trust is generated by being honest about pricing and discounts.

Millennials also said it was important that they could trust a brand’s advice and recommendations.

Brand relationships

“Overall, the research shows boomers care more that brands offer quality products and rectify problems quickly, while caring less about personalisation and tailored offers,” explained Morgan.

“For example, 25 per cent of millennials cared about getting an email from a brand on their birthday, this number drops to 9 per cent for boomers, so brands need to think about communicating with the right demographic in the right way.

“Interestingly, boomers seem to care less about their brand relationships full-stop, which is in contrast to millennials, who returned consistently higher scores throughout the study when measuring their feelings about a diverse range of brand interactions.”

Reward me

One thing the generations have in common is their high regard for rewards initiatives, with both age brackets saying they’d spend more if they were rewarded better.

In fact, over 70 per cent of both age groups indicated rewards programs are important to them.

“But the loyalty rewards and services each generation might be seeking are different,” said Morgan.

“That’s why it’s important for brands to use technology as a tool for better and smoother service, not rely on it as the only channel through which your brand communicates with customers, because our research shows older, wealthier generations simply aren’t as impressed by that kind of service.”

 

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