In this age of endless options, customer retention is a tough game. While brands are looking at innovative ways at winning customer loyalty, it often is short-lived. Devotion, which is a factor of how passionate, committed and intimate consumers feel with a retailer, is key to growing high-value, enduring relationships between people and brands.
Studies have been conducted worldwide to understand consumer behavior, and use the insights for the long haul. Quite surprisingly so, whether it is the developed or developing markets, the trends seem to be similar.
In a recently conducted in-depth survey commissioned by ICLP, A Collinson Group Company, it has revealed that Baby Boomers are often not given the due attention while they have the buying power. As per the report, majority of Indian consumers are now in less committed relationships with their favourite retailers than ever before. Alongside, the study commissioned also reveals that retailers’ lack of focus on Baby Boomers is evident by the 90% who are not devoted to brands they engage with the most, i.e. they don’t feel a high level of passion, commitment or intimacy towards them, and are likely to ‘cheat’ with competitors.
In India, just 10% of baby boomers are devoted to their favourite retailer (compared to 20% Millennials & 25% of Generation X). They don’t feel high levels of passion, commitment or intimacy that devotion requires and are therefore more likely to cheat on their favourite brands. Retailers actually need to sit up and address this generation, keep them happy and stay competitive.
Lack of knowing and understanding the customer is where the problem stems from. It is not an easy task to understand what customers in this age group want, from their favourite retailer, and what is it that keeps them loyal. In fact, recognition, communication and trust were particularly important to older customers is what the study reveals.
- When asked if their favourite retailers recognised them?
65% boomers said that their favourite retailers didn’t remember their previous purchase, where as 52% said that they were not recognised when they walked into the same store every time.
- Communication is an important aspect for the boomers as 50% said that they want their favourite retailers to listen to them, whereas 61% said that they wanted to be asked their preference on mode of communication (e.g. phone, email & SMS) as compared to 42% of Millennials. 59% also that they wanted their favourite brands to ask them for their feedback on services and products as compared to 43% of Millennials and 44% of Gen X.
- Establishing trust is the key to a devoted relationship as 63% boomers said that they trusted their favourite brand and what it stands for. This resulted in 55% saying that they recommended the brand to others regularly.
Retailers must understand what passion amongst this affluent customer base of baby boomers looks like and create products and campaigns that they will truly love. Meanwhile, they also need to view loyalty as more than just their loyalty programme. Baby Boomers care about recognition, communication and trust as much as they do about being rewarded.
It is also important to understand what a retailer can do to increase the frequency of purchase among this valuable generation?
- Increase trust: 71% of boomers said they would buy more if they trusted the brand more,
- Understand them better: 80% of the boomers would buy more if the brand understood their needs and requirements better.
- Personalised Communication: 78% of boomers prefer being recognised as an individual and not just anybody.
- Relevant and consistent recommendation: As many as 88% boomers felt that they would purchase more if they were recommended consistently.
- Curate conversations: 67% boomers said that their direct messages and posts tagging the brands were not responded to.
Brands typically target their mobile and online marketing efforts at Millennials because they consider them to be the most valuable generation, and thus they overlook Baby Boomers, who are highly influential and are often the affluent shoppers.
Our research reveals that Boomers feel undervalued and overlooked, so it’s important to give this extremely important customer base what they want and need – a personalised customer experience that is responsive and communicative.
The more the retailers use these data-driven insights to create a meaningful marketing strategy that specifically appeals to Boomers, the more emotionally connected they will feel towards your brand, turning this age group into repeat, loyal customers.
This article has been authored by Anurag Saxena, Country Head and GM, ICLP India, A Collinson Group Company