Think Millennials are about having smartphones and being attached to technology? Think again. The truth is we actually value having experience over having things. We are more interested in the experiences a smartphone gives us than the product itself.
Apple gets that. In their recent commercial, they featured a teenage boy using his iPhone 6S to track his running speed, purchase a long board, take remote guitar lessons and shoot pictures of his travels. That’s a very smart move on Apple’s end because it showed the never-ending experience a person can get from owning an iPhone.
As a Millennial, I’ve found that social media has opened my eyes to the extraordinary opportunities people around the world experience. For example, my twitter timeline consists of people zip lining in the tropics, cliff jumping into the ocean, and traveling to the wonders of the world. These experiences interest me because I seek adventure and want to see what other people do to help me think about what I want to do in the future.
Airbnb gets us too. They are riding this new rising tide of offering experiences. Airbnb is an online company that lets you book a stay with local people in their houses or apartments, allowing you to vacation with the locals. Millennial travelers don’t want to stay in the most popular tourist areas, doing what tourists do. Instead, they wanted to experience living like the locals. Airbnb has re-defined travel by not focusing on ‘look at the pretty sights’ but by saying ‘experience a new and different life that is surrounded by the people who live it every day.’
We Millennials want to be defined by our passions. The passions we share may be considered ‘interests’ by older generations, but to us they are much more. Music, athletics, and making a difference when it comes to the environment, poverty, and social issues – these are our passions. I like the way Future Cast talks about reaching Millennials, “Their overall goal is to express themselves in a way that is true to who they really are.” And my advice to marketers is to consider this anytime you want us to pay attention to what you have to sell.
Ryan Tarko is a member of the Millennial Principle team. His beat is the youngest Millennials.