Over the past many decades, with the help of Dr. Spock and other child rearing experts we have turned into a society that rewards everyone for just about everything. Now, there is nothing wrong with this method of thinking at all. This is the way our world is today. People who grew up in the last 20-35 years, are now the largest group of consumers since baby boomers. Millennials have seen and grown up in a world of disruption and transition. Technology has drastically changed the way they live their lives. They believe in making things better and easier for everyone and they of course have different values than their parents and grandparents.
Where baby boomers and, to a certain extent Gen X’ers were focused on the American dream of buying a home and being loyal to and working for the same company for extended periods of time. Millennials are not as attached to this idea at all! They have seen the corporations their parents have been so loyal to for so long mistreat them as they approach retirement age. They have seen their parents lose a majority of their retirement in the market crash of 2008. They no doubt have seen these things and are choosing to live their life, not accumulating things or being married to the traditional idea of owning a home or staying in the same job for more than 5 years. Instead they are choosing to place value on living their life. They are trading the money they would be saving for a home, on a trip to Europe for the summer. Instead of buying a car, they UBER when they need to get somewhere. This savings is being spent on concerts, events and festivals.
In short, Millennials, who are now the largest age demographic in the country, are choosing to spend their money on experiences. My oldest daughter recently graduated from college, with no debt I might add (you’re welcome Abby), and while she is eager to start her career, she wants her career to work around her life. The career is only a means to provide the life she wants and desires. She wants to experience things and expose herself to things that her parents never got to do. Millennials do not want to live a life of “what if”. They have seen what living this life did for their parents. For millennials, and most of us, living a successful life means living a life full of memorable experiences. Over the course of time, this has never really changed. Everyone wants to live a meaningful and full life. Millennials are actually doing it. They have placed a premium and will pay a premium for great experiences and want to be marketed to in this way.