Rise of the Access & Experience Generation

Rise of the Access & Experience Generation

27-year-old nephew asked me – do you need to own your music or can’t you just enjoy listening to it?  He was drawing a distinction between “buying” music in iTunes and using services Spotify or Pandora.

Yes, he is a Millennial

That question holds true for categories far beyond music;

Conventional wisdom held that Americans wanted to own things – homes, cars, vacation homes, etc.  The idea of accessing experiences without the burden of ownership wasn’t on the radar screen.  Here’s a short course on how times have changed:

The original “use but don’t own” philosophy was born with Time Shares.  People were sold “time” in units purpose-built in tourist destinations.  Popular weeks cost more than others.  “Owning” premium destinations and weeks offered owners the option to trade for other locations and times of year.

Today, Inspirato serves the luxury travel & destination segment and AirB&B takes ‘sharing’ to a whole new level among the less well-to-do or simply those that want an authentic experience – on a sofa.

Leasing cars, once synonymous only with luxury autos, ‘trickled down.’ Now leasing is more popular than owning and gets Americans back to the 50’s mindset of a new car every 2 to 3 years.

Netjets and services like it offered business elite a pre-paid “card” for time on a private jet.  In the wake of Sept 11 this business boomed.  Now Delta offers a private jet option.

This concept has found its way into the fashion and accessories market.  Rent-the-Runway offers women a chance to sport a designer ensemble for just an evening and Eleven James enables its club members to try serious wrist-bling two-months at a time.  For a monthly membership fee based on the collection selected, members get three or six watches each year – for two months at a go.  Breguet, Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, Blancpain, IWC and more.

The question is – what’s next?  What category do YOU think will be the next “access and experience without ownership”? What can LOCC do to help?