MONTREAL, June 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As the largest generational cohort in Canada since the Baby Boomers, the Millennial Generation or "Gen Y" is transforming how companies and brands develop long-term customer loyalty, according to Aimia's proprietary Canadian Millennial Loyalty Survey. Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management and parent company of Aeroplan, conducted research comparing the attitudes of Millennial and non-Millennial consumers in Canada, revealing how the definition of loyalty is shifting and what companies will need to address in order to connect with the Millennial Generation. For example, the findings show that over three-quarters (78%) of Canadian Millennials are more likely to choose a brand that offers a loyalty or rewards program over a brand that does not. "Marketers targeting the Millennial demographic will have to demonstrate why this cohort should engage with their brand," said Rick Ferguson, lead author of the report and Vice President, Knowledge Development at Aimia. "Our survey data shows Millennials have extremely high expectations of their brand relationships and demand immediate gratification from reward programs. Delivering this value will require marketers to harness the use of technology to derive maximum efficiency from their programs." The proliferation of social media and mobile devices is having a profound impact on how Millennials interact with brands. Nearly half of Millennials (44%) surveyed are willing to promote products or brands through social media in exchange for rewards. Furthermore, over one quarter of Millennials (27%) expressed high interest in using a mobile device as a substitute for carrying a plastic loyalty card versus 9% of non-Millennials. "At nearly one third of the overall population, Generation Y already exerts a strong influence on Canadian culture, politics and commerce," said Ferguson. "It is important that marketers understand how to effectively engage with Millennials and leverage their customer data to build sustained, reciprocal and meaningful relationships that increase profits and drive long-term enterprise value."