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Consumer Preferences – Joyful Experiences Beats Buying Stuff

Group-of-friends-enjoying-party-

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It seems consumer preferences regarding how we live our lives has taken a dramatic shift recently. As the saying goes, “you only live once” and people are starting to take that to heart. And as we all know, you can’t take it with you.

Today’s Consumers Would Rather Have Experiences Above Things

In fact, 76% of consumers prefer to spend on experiences like traveling and concerts instead of spending on material items. This is from a recent study by experiential advertising agency Momentum Worldwide.

Look at Ellen DeGeneres. She can pretty much own any home on the planet but would rather buy homes and flip them because it’s an enjoyable experience for her being able to do all the decorating and interior design. She loves that part more than she does owning an actual home.

Women buying movie tickets at the box office

According to Chris Weil, CEO at Momentum “In just a few short years we’ve seen an enormous shift in consumer preferences towards brands and their involvement in live experiences.

At the rate consumer expectations are evolving, brands are hard-pressed to keep up with their needs.” In other words, mind over matter. Experiences over stuff. Feel the need for speed? Let a bullet train become part of your experiential journey getting from point A to point B. Here are some other heart-pounding experiences, not for the timid.

So what are these new experiences we’d rather have than adorning our homes and body in bling? Before we go on, we’d like to point out that glitter makeup doesn’t count as bling and is still A-OK in our book to splurge on this.

Subscription-Only Restaurants

Top restaurants and hospitality executives around the world are now looking at a business model where they charge guests an annual fee. And this seems to be a favorite way to splurge in an experiential way.

Charming lovers sharing a sweet dessert in a cafe

This allows you access to intimate dinner parties and live entertainment that can be nearly impossible to get into otherwise.

Kind of like a localized luxury airport lounge. For those who don’t want to splurge on a foodie membership which can start at US$1,500. annually, you can try getting a reservation on booking site Resy, but you’ll still need to be “in the club” if you want the all-inclusive entertainment offered with some of these obscure speakeasies.

Member Only Clubs- Soho House

The subscription-only restaurants follow a similar model to Soho House, an international members-only club that costs more than $3,000 a year to access any location around the world.

exterior of Soho House Club in Istanbul
Soho House Club, Istanbul

To become a member, you’ll need to apply to the House closest to your home or work, and must be nominated by two existing Soho House members.

The majority of the members work in traditional creative industries like film, fashion, advertising, music, and art. which translates to celebrities.

At a time when Americans seem lonelier than ever, having a place to eat, drink, and see people you know translates to a positive experience. On a less expensive note, we’ve found this same consumer preference and experience can be found in sports bars.

Resort Membership Timeshares

We know how timeshares can make some people feel a little anxious.
The good news is we have lots of info to guide you through these muddied waters if you want to explore this further.

consumer preferences show luxury beach resorts in demand

It may help to know many of these membership exotic resorts have locations in the best places around the world and that you can freely use your timeshare plan in any of their locations.

So in this context, a timeshare is treated more like a world-wide resort membership. An endless vacation experience.

Excursions, Tours, And Seeing The World

It’s a big world out there and you don’t want to miss out. If touring Budapest on a bike sounds like an experience you’d love to have, then you’re probably the type that really wants to live the experiential life, forgoing stuff in exchange for incredible memories.

To get the most enjoyment out of your dollar, science says to focus your discretionary spending on such experiences like travel rather than material goods.

We feel strongly about that too, with a ton of great posts on travel.
A new Cornell study shows that the enjoyment we derive from experiential purchases may begin even before we buy.

A guy carrying a girl on his back, at the beach, outdoors

Perhaps traveling in the Scottish Highlands and sipping a good scotch straight from the barrel is the experience you’re looking for. We got your back.

This research, which is published in the September issue of Psychological Science, offers important information for consumers.

The researchers discovered that people just thinking about impending experiential purchases, such as ski passes or concert tickets, have higher levels of happiness than those who anticipate spending money on things. The power of thought!

In addition, the researchers found that the act of actually waiting in line to make a purchase may be more pleasant for those intending to buy access to an experience than an acquisition.

seascape in black and white

At the end of the day, the numbers tell us what we already feel inside – 58 percent of respondents want to be part of an experience to escape from everyday life, while 70 percent want an experience where they can laugh and have fun.

There you have it. If I did my math right that’s 128% of the people looking for the Jetsetty life!

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