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Millennial Musings: how brands can turn me into a loyal customer

Journalism student Kimberley Strelke reveals how brands can persuade millennials like her to keep coming back for more.

In the second of her two-part series, Kimberley Strelke, a corporate communications & public affairs and journalism student at the US’s Southern Methodist University, reveals how brands can persuade her all-conquering demographic to keep coming back for more.

Remember when I talked about how brands catch my attention and make me want to become a customer? Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but now that you have me what are you going to do to make sure I stay loyal to your company? 

I appreciate brands that appreciate me. Discounts, quality products and discreet advertising will keep me hooked for life. I am not a difficult customer to keep, and if you manage to get me in the first place it is likely that I will continue to use your product forever (which is an eon to my YOLO-minded generation).

I like getting new stuff, but I don’t like spending a ton of money to get it – so discounts are a great way to keep me interested. JCPenney does this genius thing that gets me every time. When I leave a JCPenney with receipt in hand my eyes immediately dart to the bottom where it reveals how much I’ve saved.  When I see “You saved $75”, I don’t care that the line right above says I spent $200. Stores that offer a sale every time I walk in, meanwhile, will always keep me coming back for more.

A product has to last. Even though a good price is extremely important to me, I’m more than happy to spend a little more to ensure that the product will actually last a reasonable amount of time. I move quickly. My mind is always set on the future and extremely short-term goals, so I’m not making some outrageous request that brands make products last forever.

I generally buy a pair of tennis shoes each year. I’m pretty hard on them, so a year is their general lifespan. I bought a pair of Nike tennis shoes at the start of this year, and although they were on sale they were by no means dirt cheap. Just a month into wearing my new shoes the netting at the toe started to tear. I’ve used Nike before and I genuinely like its products, but noticing that tear made me immediately start searching for a different brand. Nike hasn’t necessarily lost me forever, but I’m much more likely to look elsewhere for my next pair of tennis shoes.

I get annoyed easily, and I don’t tend to forget what has previously annoyed me.  When a brand has advertisements that are extremely in your face, then I’m annoyed. I get that advertising is how to get a product out in front of people, but don’t shove it at me at every turn.

After purchasing clothes online from Old Navy, I started receiving almost daily emails. I honestly don’t mind them, as long as they benefit me in some way and don’t just send redundant ads. Each time I open an email I have a positive outlook, but by about the fifth day of nonsense emails I am desperately searching for the unsubscribe button.

Old Navy does a good job of sending out emails with discounts or exclusive information; that keeps me hooked. If the subject line of the email says “promo code” or “exclusive deal”, then I’m sold. I’ll gladly click on that link and end up buying a whole basket of products, because who can resist a sale? Make me feel special for bothering to read your email and don’t annoy me.

If you can achieve this trifecta of demands, then rest assured I will keep using your product for years to come.