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As the market continues to evolve and expand, the growing and incoming generations of consumers are being heavily considered for the long run. A recent study in Columbus, Ohio by Alliance Data's Analytics & Insights Institute took an in-depth look at how members of the Millennial generation (1982-1997) to Generation Z (1998-2010) view and define loyalty when engaging with brands. 


"This study really unpacks the shopping and loyalty preferences of today's youngest consumer segment," said VP of marketing advancement for the company's data card services, Shannon Andrick. "One-to-one conversations with real people supported by in-depth research has provided a unique view into the mindset of today's youngest generations and what they expect from brand relationships. The loyalty landscape has truly shifted from brands driving loyalty to brands earning loyalty."


Below are some conclusive highlights from the study entitled “The Rules of NextGen Loyalty”:


Loyalty is earned

Due to an abundance in regards to options of where to shop, 63% of young consumers have voiced the importance of loyalty between them and their usual brands, allowing a consistent exchange of business. 43% of Gen Z demand an accommodating attitude from brands, while older and younger millennials express the same sentiment at 33% and 34% respectively.  

Loyalty is complex

The concept of loyalty had previously been one-dimensional, but recent developments with research from this study have opened the idea of loyalty to a brand to have both an emotional and functional basis. Gen Z describes the ties between them and their usual brands as needing quality, reliability, discounts, and rewards while millennials agree, adding "coupons" to the mix as well. However, trustworthiness, honesty, and reliability are all at the core for all three age groups.

Loyalty is fragile

Due to the instant access often experienced by younger generations, they offer fewer chances to brands, putting up with less since they have so many other options available to them in regards to the same product. According to the Alliance Data study, 76% of younger consumers only give brands 2-3 "strikes" until they move on, with one-third of them saying that their loyalty couldn't be won back again.

Loyalty is multifaceted

Transactions can often be thought of as the only indicators of loyalty to a brand, but that is not entirely true. Emotional aspects are once again introduced into the equation. Alliance Data recommends that brands show an interest in understanding the personal needs of young consumers, gauging which customers need basic services, while others require more involvement.


This topic will be discussed in greater detail when Alliance Data releases more information in Las Vegas's 2018 Shoptalk Conference. Check out more on this study on

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