I’ve been looking into the growth of the experience economy, something which has blown up with the help of millennials over the last few years. My research into this led me to some really interesting articles on Forbes, Huffington Post, Marketing Magazine and Marketing Week, covering everything from pop ups to Pepsi Emojis. As always links to these can be found below…
Studies done by PWC show that millennials are building an ‘experience economy’ – seeing as it’s no longer difficult to own items, there has been a shift towards spending on experiences. 52% of 18-34 year olds spend on experiences, against 39% of older consumers* – a broad divide. Whilst this could be put down to social media bragging rights, it appears that these occasions are more so used for sharing experiences with friends and peers – they enjoy having the ability to create memories whilst engaging with those around them.
These experience-hunters see more than just the product or brand, but rather what the brand stands for. They use the brand to help define who they are and what they stand for, sharing this both with friends and in the online world of social media. As a result, the authenticity of a brand’s offering is paramount – the product on its own means very little to this group, as marketers, we should be focusing on the end-to-end experience of the product. 72% of millennials plan to increase their spending on experiences to provide a lasting impression and connect with brands and their peers* – why shouldn’t we as marketers seize this opportunity to build brand loyalists?
In light of this new perspective there is even more of a need for an end-to-end strategy for brands. In order to deliver a genuine product experience, the entire customer journey must be intricately planned to ensure that each and every touchpoint is aligned with the overarching strategy. Whilst this process is rather strenuous, by sticking to it, we can ensure involvement and brand understanding from this emerging group who are looking for ‘return on involvement’ over return on investment.
The rise of FOMO (fear of missing out) and the search for return on involvement have led to an interesting time for marketers striving to fulfil these consumer needs. These new phenomena open a lot of doors in terms of experiential marketing, a term which in recent years has come to mean one of two things: an event or a pop up. However, we must understand that experiential is broader than these two tactics and seize the opportunity to engage with consumers who want to be engaged at every opportunity possible.
By understanding the value of brand truths to customers, and identifying consumer needs (in this case an experience) brands and products can achieve what we call the Moment of Wonder.
Other sources for further reading: