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Knock Knock. It’s The Millennials.

The consumer profile is changing as millennials (ages 18-34, about a fourth of the US population) enter into the workforce and become big spenders.

It is now estimated that millennials control over a trillion dollars in annual purchasing power, and 78% of that generation’s consumers would rather spend money on an experience or event over purchasing an item. And other generations are also seeking these things as well.

The Eventbrite study went deeper into why these millennials are spending on events and experiences, and the top reasons were that experiences:

  • Strengthen relationship bonds
  • Create memories
  • Give reasons to go out with friends and family
  • Create a community

There is also a reluctance of millennials to own things that they could have access to by hiring or renting. According to a Goldman Sachs study, millennials are more focused on a “shared economy”, relying on services to provide them with access to the products.

And there are high-valued companies built specifically to fill these needs (think Uber, Airbnb, etc). Blake Morgan at Forbes believes this reluctance to buy is partially caused by millennials witnessing the crash of 2008 and the life-changing misfortune it brought to those around them. Other factors could include high levels of student debt and uncertainty in the future of America’s economics.

Yet when millennials do purchase tangible goods, they focus on customization, discounts, and price, always searching for the best deal and the more understated, made-to-fit pieces. They are very demanding, wanting (and expecting) convenience, quick order fulfillment (such as Amazon Prime’s same-day or next-day free delivery), and new products.

They have set the bar high for what they expect from companies and will take nothing less. So, fellow companies, say hello to your new consumer persona.