THE CLARUS Blog

Why Millennials Are Attracted to Premium Loyalty Programs

Did you know that 80% of millennials would be willing to join a premium loyalty program if their favorite retailers offered them and the benefits were valuable?

And 68% of non-millennials would join a premium loyalty program.

Not long ago subscription was a four-letter word for many consumers.

Remember when subscription was considered “too much of a commitment?”

Our recent data study shows that most consumers across multiple generations no longer feel that way.

What does that mean for the future of premium loyalty programs?

 

Consumers Will Join Your Program

Eighty percent of millennials and 68% of non-millennials represent massive markets of people willing to pay to get the best of your brand.

The days of worrying whether anyone will join your program are over. Consumers understand the value that subscription programs will give them in return.

Given the rise of Netflix and Amazon Prime, the non-millennial generation is attracted to the idea of receiving added value by being a paying member of a program; whether it’s a retail or streaming subscription or a premium loyalty program.

Some younger millennials probably don’t even remember life before Netflix and Amazon Prime. This means those young millennials inherently trust subscription as a common concept where they pay for something and receive value.

As subscription becomes more widely used in many different forms, it’s no longer a foreign concept that poses a barrier to entry for consumers.

You have to adapt.

 

Focus On Driving Value

When you’re not concerned about enrolling members in our programs, you can focus on making sure you’re providing valuable benefits and memorable experiences.

Value should always outweigh the cost of the program.

And if it does, members are going to stick around because they feel like they’re getting more than they’re paying for.

Just as you do, consumers do the math before making decisions.

For example, consider the Lululemon premium loyalty program.

Lululemon charges $128 per year as it builds its member base. That’s more than Amazon Prime($119/year)!

Lululemon members receive a pair of exclusive members-only yoga pants when they sign up, which is a $128 value by itself.

Lululemon customers are saying to themselves: “Well, if I’m going to buy a pair of yoga pants today, I may as well just sign up and get the exclusive yoga pants. The free expedited shipping and members-only invites to yoga classes and personal development events are a bonus.”

If members feel your program offers them tangible value that exceeds the price of entry, they’ll sign up.

Now, what’s the right value? That depends on the expectations your consumers have for your brand.

 

Aim for Retention

Today these same programs are building brand advocates, despite years ago making consumers cringe at the thought of committing.

If your customers love your brand, most of them will join your premium loyalty program these days.

If we were able to overcome that hesitation in a matter of years, the big question is: What will the future look like?

Your program benefits may be great and impactful today, but your consumers are changing quickly.

Life changes such as starting a career and having a family will drastically impact the needs and expectations of your customers.

A great loyalty program adapts to meet and exceed the expectations of members. Maintaining that emotional connection, while providing new value, eliminates room for members to want to leave your program.

Amazon is constantly changing and adding to what it offers its Prime members.

One day it’s just free shipping and before you know it, it’s free same-day shipping, groceries, registry discounts, diaper subscribe and save, along with streaming music and movies. Prime continues to evolve and becomes more valuable before you get “tired” of the benefits.

 

Customers Want Your Best

The bottom line is this: Your customers want your best and they’ll gladly pay for it.

Even though they’ll pay, they want to feel that they’re receiving tangible, exclusive value for their investment. They want a program that will change with their lives and deliver real-time, personalized value.

It’s your job as a loyalty expert (and human!) to gather as much member feedback as possible.

Listen and interact with your loyalty program members on social media and at the counter.

Encourage them to talk to you about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Understanding what your members want is the key to delivering new value through improvements.

By changing your program based on specific feedback, you’ve built a brand advocate who will spread the good word and tell their friends that you listen to your members and act on feedback.

That’s your best. And that’s what members are investing in.

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