Young Wealthy Consumers Crave Experiences, Not Products

As if it wasn’t already a challenge to capture the attention of Millennial consumers, many young affluent consumers have been handed almost everything their hearts desire before even officially becoming adults. When trying to appeal to a segment of the population that has been lavished with expensive material items since birth, the strategy for brand marketers can’t simply be to push why their product is the greatest – experience is key. 

Thirty-four percent of today’s Millennials have been wealthy throughout their whole lifetime, according to American Express. So when one is no longer fazed by owning luxury cars, high-end clothing and designer jewelry by the age of 18, what is left to capture their attention? Once again, the answer is experience.

There’s a reason why microbreweries are so popular, electric dance shows are all the rage, and the term “foodie” has become synonymous with young, wealthy consumers. They all offer an experience that focuses on something new and different, and give them something to reflect on when speaking with their peers. However, what we should understand is that this concept can go beyond actually attending events. “Having an experience” should be factored into almost all marketing strategies, especially when the target demographic is wealthy and young.

Apple understands this on several levels, particularly when it comes to its retail locations. While many pundits have predicted the demise of brick-and-mortar for years now, Apple has taken its stores and made them a desired destination. Walking into an Apple store does not simply consist of buying a product and leaving. Every detail is carefully thought through, from the sleek, clean appearance of the décor, to the deep knowledge of the staff (oh, wait, I’m sorry – “geniuses”). For Apple, the objective doesn’t only consist of manufacturing a superior product; the result of an Apple store visit often leaves consumers wanting more. 

Of course, the ability to share experiences has a large effect on brand loyalty. This is true regarding affluent and non-affluent Millennial consumers. Any consumer interaction, from customer service to store cleanliness, can be shared through social networks, mobile devices, and a multitude of other media. However, this isn’t the only difference between wealthy Millennials and their predecessors.

Whereas affluent Baby Boomers and Generation Xers often chose to spend their wealth on materialistic entities, such as cars or large houses, this generation of well-off consumers often chooses to forego those luxuries – even opting to buy necessities in bulk at retail locations such as Sam’s Club and Costco – in favor of exotic vacations or once-in-a-lifetime concerts or sporting events. Luxury marketers must find a way to translate this trend into moving their product if they plan on garnering wealthy Millennial attention.

Tags: affluent, gen y
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