This Christmas, give the gift of experience

November 28, 2019

“In the West, we have probably hit peak stuff.”

So warns Steve Howard, a Senior IKEA Executive. Food for thought as Christmas approaches, and we start to think about what makes the ‘perfect gift’.

But why do experiences have the edge on material goods?

  1. We reflect on experiences through rose-tinted glasses
  2. Experiences are more likely to be unique, therefore harder to compare
  3. We think of experiences as a part of who we are
  4. Humans are social animals and experiences bring us closer together
  5. Experiences result in less clutter

A possible sixth reason is that, with the rise of social media, experiences have become the new status symbol. It's less ostentatious to share a picture of yourself viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland than an image of your new Harley sitting in the driveway - but they could both be interpreted as displays of wealth.

Whatever the reason, giving experiences rather than products is a fast-growing trend. And believe it or not, that's good news for brands.

Now we know that experiences drive social sharing and referrals, all we have to do is associate the products and services offered to customers with an experience. Experiential marketing brings brands and products to life with memorable experiences that harness the senses and target the emotions. By understanding the psychological mechanism behind the growth of the 'experience economy', we can capitalise on that growth by taking those factors into account in our campaign strategies.

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