It’s an article of faith by now that millennials are not big on acquiring `stuff’.
Sell products as hard as you can via multiple millennial-friendly channels and you may still find that this young school of 18-to-34-year-old fish is simply not biting.
They’re products of surfeit. Of plentifulness. And social equality, where status is not allocated by the size of house you live in. The digital revolution has changed many things, and one of them is the need to hoard things of material value. Millennials live a lot inside their heads, they love intellectual stimulation, and thanks to the worldwide web they have access to more information than ever. Their world view, as a result, is not restricted to their geographical neighborhood and their social lives are not circled into their calendars as Aunt Betty’s big 4th of July party (where you got to drive up in a nice car, have the children beautifully dressed and bake the most sumptuous cake) or Cousin Lou’s family get-together (where you got to drive up in a nice car, have the children beautifully dressed and bake the most sumptuous cake).
If you’re making the mistake of using traditional wisdom to market to these people, you’re probably wasting your time because millennials are just not that into `stuff’.
They may not have bank accounts with several million dollars – yet — but they certainly think like millionaires in many ways. When you’re filthy rich, material goods are so easy to acquire, they have long since lost their power to make you happy. So what is left then to make life seem meaningful?
Ask any millionaire you know, and they will tell you the same thing. They don’t want another flashy car or a new Armani Black Label suit. They want memorable experiences.
Forget your product and its attributes for a minute and just think about how that product can create an experience. A desirable, memorable experience that surprises or delights or inspires with its uniqueness and its ability to engender a `feel good’ feeling. Now you’re thinking along marketing lines that millennials are more likely to sign up for.
Here are some interesting data that back up this rather important premise in the millennial marketplace that currently command a whopping 1.3 trillion in annual consumer spending:
• More than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying a product that is desirable.
• 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.
• 72% say they would like to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things in the next year.
• 69% believe attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world. (Source: Eventbrite)
As writer and editor, Nabanita (Nita) has worn many hats. She started her career as a magazine journalist – and launched and edited India’s largest-selling weekend magazine (`Brunch’) before moving to the United States in 2007. She has also written travel books (for the award-winning `To Asia With Love’ series) and countless columns and articles for newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia. She has been working in digital content marketing for over 10 years now with a relentless curiosity about what drives and motivates people when they’re interacting in the online space.