Survey shows majority of UK millennials turn on their favourite brands – for surprising reasons


55% of 18-34 year olds changed brands in the last year but surprisingly, major factors in disloyalty occur behind the scenes in operations and supply chain

London, UK: A new survey conducted by research company YouGov and supply chain commerce cloud provider GT Nexus, an Infor company, confirms a lack of brand loyalty among 18-34 year-olds while uncovering surprising factors that drive brand disloyalty. According to the survey, 55% of UK Millennials admit to having switched one of their favourite brands in the last 12 months. The startling findings however, are the factors that spur Millennials to turn on their favourite brands: product quality, availability issues, working conditions and sustainability.

All of the major disloyalty factors identified fall into the “behind-the-scenes” domains of operations, logistics and supply chain management. Contrary to popular belief, consumer-facing marketing factors, such as a brand’s social media presence, mobile apps or a cool website, don’t have a big impact on Millennials’ brand loyalty.

“It’s no surprise to see a high percent of this demographic shifting brand loyalty frequently“, said Guy Courtin, Vice President of Industry and Solutions Strategy at GT Nexus. “But when we think of millennials we think of their attention being drawn to cool, edgy and flashy. These survey results paint a different picture. This describes a demographic that’s more concerned with what goes on behind the scenes of a brand, how they produce goods or operate, opposed to being drawn to flash and sizzle such as apps and website.“

Product quality and availability are top concerns of millennials
UK Millennials put a premium on product quality and availability. Respondents cite quality problems (41 percent) and issues with product availability (41 percent) as the two biggest reasons for switching from one of their favourite brands to another.

On product quality, Courtin said: “A number of recent high-profile product recalls have shown us how quickly quality issues can damage the reputation of a brand. But it’s alarming to see how readily Millennials turn on their favourite brands if the product isn’t on the shelf or available for delivery. This shows that the brand loyalty of Millennials lies heavily on the shoulders of the logistics and supply chain departments.”

Fair treatment of workers and the environment matter
UK Millennials care about how their favourite brands are made. Twenty-eight percent of respondents would turn on a brand if it doesn’t treat or pay its workers fairly. Twenty-two percent would switch brands if the product isn’t environmentally friendly.

“Millennials are sending a very clear message to their favourite brands here. If you don’t respect the workers creating your goods – either inside your organisation or in your supply chains – we will turn on you. Same goes for the environment. Manufacturers and retailers should heed this warning and strive for fair, transparent and environmentally friendly supply chains. The apparel and footwear industry has met some challenges in this area and should be extra vigilante. Because it also happens to be a category in which millennials are most likely to switch their favourite brands, forty percent according to the survey,” Courtin stated.

Social media, mobile apps and websites are not important
Millennials are often perceived as digital natives. But according to the study, social media presence, mobile apps and cool websites have comparatively little impact on their brand loyalty. The lack of a strong social media presence (5 percent), the lack of a mobile app (4%) or the lack of a cool website (3%) don’t compel Millennials to turn on their favourite brands.

“In recent years, manufacturers and retailers have paid a lot of attention to consumer-facing marketing factors like websites, apps and social media to attract and keep Millennials loyal to their brands,” added Courtin. “But this research suggests that ‘behind-the-scenes’ actions that occur in operations, production and supply chain – which directly impact product availability, quality, ethics and the environment – are a lot more important when it comes to influencing the brand loyalty of Millennials.”

Investing in the right places
“Companies are investing significantly in technology, but this begs the question if they’re spending in the right places,” Courtin said.  “Most enterprise systems and supply chain technology investments still come up woefully short when it comes to helping companies orchestrate how they buy, make, ship and deliver their products.  It’s no longer a matter of just reducing costs. Supply chain excellence ties directly to the health of the brand.”

About YouGov
YouGov is a global market research and data company, spanning 31 locations in Europe, USA, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. We are among the pioneers of online market research and one of the leading providers in this field. Our online research is founded on our panel of over 5 million panellists across 35 countries. According to the American Marketing Association, YouGov ranks among the top 20 market research companies worldwide.

About GT Nexus
GT Nexus, an Infor company, operates the world’s largest cloud-based business network and execution platform for global trade and supply chain management. Over 25,000 businesses across industry verticals, including adidas Group, Columbia Sportswear, DHL, Electrolux, Levi Strauss & Co., Nestlé, and Sears share GT Nexus as their standard, multi-enterprise collaboration platform. This enables all network participants to operate against a core, real-time and always on set of information across multiple supply chain functions, allowing them to optimise the flow of goods, funds and trade information, from the point of order through final payment. For more information please visit us at

About Infor
Infor builds beautiful business applications with last mile functionality and scientific insights for select industries delivered as a cloud service. With 14,000 employees and customers in more than 200 countries and territories, Infor automates critical processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and public sector. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customisation through embedded deep industry domain expertise. Headquartered in New York City, Infor is also home to one of the largest creative agencies in Manhattan, Hook & Loop, focused on delivering a user experience that is fun and engaging. Infor deploys its cloud applications primarily on the Amazon Web Services cloud and open source platforms. To learn more about Infor, please visit

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size in UK was 588 aged 18-34 and fieldwork was carried out online November 16-18, 2016.

This article is not an endorsement by GT Nexus and/or Infor of any political candidate or party.


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