This disconnect is nothing new. In previous articles it was suggested that consumers value loyalty programmes, but that companies chose to focus on attaining new customers rather than retaining those they already had. However, with over a quarter of people leaving a loyalty programme as a result, it is now vital that brands engage with consumers as individuals in the most specific and relevant ways. Nearly half of all 18-24 year olds surveyed cited offers and rewards as most important to them when buying from a brand and the over 65s valued low prices over offers (86 per cent). It is clear that if brands are to appeal to a wide audience, they have to tailor the way they engage with them. Understanding how consumers want to interact with a brand is also a key consideration. 47 per cent of consumers questioned, admitted to occasionally failing to make best use of loyalty programmes because they forget to use their card/details. Adam Goran, divisional director of customer engagement at Grass Roots Group, said: “To achieve the consumer Holy Grail – loyal advocates who like to shout about how good you are – brands must understand that their consumers are individuals, and they must be treated as such. With 41 per cent of 18-24 year olds preferring to interact with loyalty programmes via their smartphones, compared to just 25 per cent of the over 65s, demographic differences can have a huge impact upon a successful engagement strategy. “With loyalty schemes proving to play a big part in the consumer decision making progress, it is imperative that brands make any loyalty schemes relevant and consumer friendly. If this is not done, or done incorrectly, consumers could switch allegiance to a competitor.” By Shané Schutte
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