Millennials Shifting the Definition of Customer Loyalty in Canada

This month AIMIA, the company that owns and operates Aeroplan in Canada produced a report on their Canadian Millennial Loyalty Survey.

At the onset the report questioned the idea that Millennials only respond to marketing messages forwarded by their peers via smartphones. Not a unique assumption among marketing professionals in Canada.

Our generation is used to being bombarded with messages and advertising. This makes referrals from our own friends and peers one of the tools that help us to cut through all of the clutter and find authentic advice tailored to our own personal likes and dislikes.

This study shows that, in fact, about one third of Millennials in Canada said they would seek opinions from their social networks before making a purchase. However they do this at a much higher rate than people from older generations. Also of note, nearly half of Millennials (44%) surveyed said they would promote products or brands through social media in exchange for company rewards.

The report also pointed out “the proliferation of social media and mobile devices as having a profound impact on how Millennials interact with brands.” More than half, 52% said they check user reviews from their phone in store before making a purchase.

  • 52% of Millennials use their mobile device for review before a purchase compared to 41% of non-Millennials.
  • 34% of Millennials seek opinions from their social networks, compared with 15% of non-Millennials.
  • Nearly half of Millennials (44%) surveyed are willing to promote products or brands through social media in exchange for company rewards.

These Millennial trends towards a shift in customer loyalty come as no surprise given the Millennial generation’s proficiency as early adopters of technology and their experience with peer collaboration.

Additionally, Canadian Millennials stood out on this survey as the most likely to support a loyalty program if it is connected to a social cause compared to Millennials from both the UK and US. In a previous study Abacus Data found that Canadian Millennials are driven to be connected to a greater purpose and they are willing to switch or spend to support companies that are doing the same.

The survey on Millennial attitudes and behaviours towards customer loyalty across Canada the US and the UK was conducted between July 8 and July 19, 2011 surveyed 2,045 Canadian adults including 1,000 Millennials (aged 19 – 29).



Jaime is an Analyst at Abacus Data and a thought leader for its Canadian Millennials research practice.

Contact Jaime Morrison:

T: 613-232-2806



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