Report: Covid link to brand loyalty

Latest research finds Australian loyalty programs influence brand loyalty while COVID-19 prevails

During the height of the Covid pandemic last year, some 87 per cent of consumers tended to remain with brands they knew, according to the 9th annual Australian customer loyalty and loyalty program research study, For Love or Money 2021.

The new report also found that while COVID-19 prevails, 48 per cent of consumers tend to stay loyal to brands whose loyalty programs they are members of, and even more so for Gen Z (63 per cent).

The Point of Loyalty CEO and report author, Adam Posner, noted the research revealed loyalty programs do influence brand loyalty while COVID-19 prevails.

“Interestingly, Gen Z identified as the most loyal generational cohort to a brand whose loyalty program they are a member of. I call them the loyalZy generation,” said Posner.

The results also showed 92 per cent of Baby Boomers remain with brands they knew. “Brand familiarity plays a key role in creating ‘sticky’ customers especially when the world we are living in is changing so dynamically,” Posner added.

The research, conducted in the first quarter of 2021 through a national online panel of 1000 Australian adult consumers who are members of at least one loyalty program, found programs are improving. It shows a trend in loyalty programs improving over recent years, with 68 per cent of members in 2021 indicating programs have improved vs 51 per cent in 2017.

The top three areas of improvement have been in the achievability of rewards, simplicity of interacting with a program and enhanced use of technology such as mobile apps and mobile payments, with 37 per cent of members indicating programs have improved in this area. Again, Gen Z were significantly more complimentary of technology improvements, with 50 per cent indicating programs have improved in their use of technology.

The research also reveals members prefer programs with partner offers, earning rewards instantly and earning rewards for referrals.

“Keeping programs fresh and out of the sea of sameness is a challenge and the research continues to share new ways for programs to stay relevant and a step ahead,” Posner said.

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