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Millennials Value Experiences More Than Possessions

Research from Zenith Optimedia suggests that this generation “feels a growing affinity for brands that help them to take control of their lives and offer worthwhile experiences rather than more possessions.” The report, highlighted in Marketing Week, examines the factors that drive happiness in young adults. Among the findings:

  • A sense of control is important. “For example, the results show that millennials who feel they have a high level of control over their career are 56% happier than those who feel they are not in control. Meanwhile millennials who are in control of their finances are 43% happier, and those in control of their fitness and wellbeing are 41% happier.”
  • On average, “gadgets, holidays and eating out are seen as ‘indulgences’. Homewares, cosmetics and music are considered ‘nice-to-haves’, while categories like groceries, clothing and public transport are viewed as ‘necessities’.”
  • “Millennials are most likely to use to share the experiences that inspire them. A third (32%) said they post a photo on social media when they discover ‘something new, interesting, funny or exciting’, while a further 28% said they would post a status update about such an experience. A quarter (24%) of 18- to 34-year-olds also said that they would record a video of the experience, while a further 13% said they would put the video on social media.”


The report suggests ways brands can develop meaningful engagement with Millennials:

  • Help Millennials to live more fulfilled lives
  • Help Millennials to give their best
  • Deliver meaningful brand experiences
  • Empower Millennials to make wise decisions
  • Help Millennials to write their personal stories
  • Enable and facilitate control
  • Respect the brand relationship


Read the article or the full report.

For more on this topic, check out the Consumer Tab in Morning Coffee .

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