Feb 19, 2024

How Do You Build Brand Loyalty with Gen Z? 4 Ways to Attract and Retain a New Kind of Consumer

Kai Jensen
February 19, 2024

Generation Z is on the cusp of becoming the most important market segment in global commerce. To appeal to this unique demographic, brands need to cater to a new set of values, preferences and behaviors.

Reward Strategy

As its spending power grows, Generation Z is on the cusp of becoming the most important market segment in global commerce. To appeal to this unique demographic, brands need to cater to a new set of values, preferences and behaviors. A good place to start is with a loyalty program tailored specifically to the Gen Z consumer. 

Born somewhere between 1997 and 2012, a Gen Z consumer can fall anywhere in a wide age range - from pre-teen to late twenties. The older segment of this generation already accounts for a large percentage of the consumer population and those on the younger side - not currently spending big - will become influential in the near future. 

In fact by 2030, Gen Z will hold more than a quarter of global income, and surpass every other generation in terms of spending power by 2031.

At the same time, this is a generation less swayed by brand loyalty than its predecessors. One report found that 62% of Gen Z consumers would shop around when making a purchase even if they had a favorite brand for the product they were buying. 

It’s not that this cohort doesn’t buy into the idea of brand loyalty - it’s just that they have a different take on what constitutes a good brand experience. 

What Makes Gen Z Consumers Different?

There’s one thing that’s shaped Gen Z more than anything, and that’s technology. These digital natives grew up with smartphones in hand, changing not just how they shop but how they view and interact with the world around them.

Generally speaking, the Gen Z consumer:

Is skeptical: information overload and fake news has left them with a healthy dose of skepticism. They look for full transparency and social proof before commiting to a purchase. 

Values authenticity: because they’re skeptical they don’t buy into grand claims and flashy advertising, but respond well to real world experiences they can relate to.

Wants to be treated like an individual: one size fits all doesn’t cut it for Gen Z consumers. They expect brands to leverage technology for personalization, catering to their individual tastes and preferences.

Is socially conscious: Gen Z consumers are highly aware of social and environmental issues, and are more likely to support brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, inclusivity, and other socially responsible practices.

Seeks instant gratification: this is a generation accustomed to access on demand. If your brand doesn’t deliver on speed and convenience you’re unlikely to build a loyal customer base of Gen Z consumers.

Understanding what makes this generation tick is key to creating a retention strategy that works. To help you get started, here’s our take on how to build a Gen Z-centric loyalty program.

4 Loyalty Program Tactics for Gen Z Engagement

Focus on Personalization and Customization

There’s no denying the importance of personalization for the Gen Z consumer. In fact, one study found that a whopping 75% would stop buying from a brand if it failed to deliver a personalized experience. 

So if you want your loyalty program to work, it needs to be tailored to the individual.

For this you’ll need zero-party data, which Gen Z is typically willing to give up in return for a better experience. Try using surveys, quizzes or interactive elements within your loyalty program to collect insights on their preferences, then use a data driven ESP like Klaviyo to segment subscribers. 

The better you know your audience the more you can tailor your offering, for example, by sending personalized recommendations or exclusive discounts on their favorite products.

Control is key too. Offer flexibility within your loyalty program, allowing subscribers to customize the frequency of communications, and how those communications are sent. You might even allow them to customize how their loyalty is rewarded, letting them choose between things like discounts, free shipping or gift cards. 

You may also consider our customer Nudea's approach, customizing your loyalty program by simply changing the names of your loyalty tiers or points to better fit your brand.

If you can create a loyalty experience that feels truly unique to each Gen Z customer, you’re more likely to keep them engaged. 

Encourage Community Engagement

We’ve established that Gen Z consumers value authenticity, and one effective way to deliver is to build a community around your brand. This allows you to showcase authenticity in action, with real people sharing real product experiences and brand interactions. 

There are a few ways to encourage community engagement through your loyalty program, and all of them are incredibly simple. 

First up, implement earn rules that prompt customers to interact with your social channels - like points awarded for likes and follows. It’s an easy way to attract their attention and welcome them to a space where they can connect with like minded shoppers.

Next, make sure the community you build is consistently creating content. A clever way to do this is to award points for the submission of reviews, photos and videos. This gives you a steady stream of UGC that acts as valuable social proof. 

gen Z loyalty

Finally, don’t forget the power of personal word of mouth. 82% of Gen Z consumers still rely on recommendations from family and friends, so referral marketing campaigns are an effective way to welcome new members into your brand community.

When you make it easy for customers to talk about and share positive experiences of your brand, you promote authentic advocacy and cement loyalty. 

Gamify Your Loyalty Program

Gen Z has grown up in an era where video games, online gaming communities and interactive experiences play a significant role in their lives. So another effective way to make your loyalty program more attractive to this particular consumer is through gamification.

How you incorporate game mechanics is up to you. 

You might design challenges that allow members to earn points by completing specific tasks - like sharing reviews, participating in polls, or creating content around their favorite products. 

You might structure your loyalty program with tiers that act as achievement levels, where members in higher tiers have access to more exclusive competitions with bigger rewards. It’s all about creating incentives that drive continued engagement. 

Gamification also appeals to Gen Z’s need for instant gratification. It might not always translate into an immediate reward, but it does translate into quick and tangible outcomes, making the whole experience more enticing.

Include an Element of Giving Back

Conscious consumerism is a big deal for Gen Z. This is a group that’s grown up in an era of heightened awareness about social and environmental issues, and they care. So much so that 72% say they’re more likely to buy from brands that contribute to social causes.

To appeal to their socially conscious nature, consider implementing a ‘give back’ feature within your loyalty program.

Our Donation Redeem Rule makes this super easy to do. Just select a charity that aligns with your brand values (and those of your customers) and let loyalty subscribers know they can exchange their points for a monetary donation to the cause. 

A Gen Z consumer is more likely to build an emotional connection to you if you actively contribute to positive impact. And when they're emotionally connected, they’re more likely to stay loyal to your brand. 

Build A Gen Z-Centric Loyalty Program with

The Gen Z consumer has high expectations. They look for authenticity, personalized experiences, and brands that align with their values. 

And while they don’t give their loyalty freely, when they do connect strongly with a brand they’re likely to become vocal advocates, sharing positive experiences that boost your reputation. 

The key is having the right tools and strategies in place to make that happen. 

With, you can tailor your loyalty program to meet the unique preferences of Gen Z consumers. Our user-friendly product has a host of innovative features that help drive program engagement and build lasting connections with this influential demographic. 

Book your free live demo today or check out or rolling monthly price plans.