By Sangeeta Haindl — A UK survey reveals that 55 percent of 18-34 year olds, known as Millennials, are switching brand loyalty, which should be a focus for businesses this holiday season during the battle for festive spending.
Surprisingly, this group is not really bothered about a cool app, website or social media presence for a brand. Instead, they are focused on product quality, availability and the environmental/ethical profile of the brands they choose to spend money on.
Research by YouGov and supply chain commerce cloud provider GT Nexus have uncovered these surprising factors that drive brand disloyalty, and confirms a lack of brand loyalty among this age set.
We think of Millennials as digital natives, being drawn to the cool, edgy and flashy. Yet this survey paints a different picture, showing they are more concerned with what goes on behind the scenes of a brand and how goods are produced as opposed to being drawn to sparkly websites and clever apps. Product quality and availability are top concerns of theirs, and respondents cited quality problems (41 percent) and issues with product availability (41 percent) as the two biggest reasons for switching from one of their favorite brands to another.
A number of recent high-profile product recalls have shown us how quickly quality issues can damage the reputation of a brand. It’s interesting to see how readily Millennials turn on their favorite brands if the product isn’t available for delivery: the brand loyalty of Millennials lies heavily on the shoulders of the logistics and supply chain departments, and supply chain excellence ties directly to the health of the brand.
Plus, fair treatment of workers and the environment also matter, as UK Millennials really do care about how their favorite brands are made. 28 percent of respondents would turn on a brand if it doesn’t treat or pay its workers fairly, while 22 percent would switch brands if the product weren’t environmentally friendly. It’s clear that these findings show that this group is sending a strong message to their favorite brands—if you don’t respect the workers creating your goods or the environment, either inside your organisation or in your supply chains—we will not buy from you.
Currently, companies are investing significantly in technology, but this survey begs the question if actually they’re spending in the right places. GT Nexus would prefer the focus of investment to be on supply chain solutions. Especially as many enterprises and brands still come up short in their supply chains, when it comes to helping companies arrange how they buy, make, ship and deliver their products. It’s no longer a matter of just reducing costs. It’s important for companies to understand younger generations to see what might be coming our way next.
Photo Credit: GT Nexus