The term “millennial” instantly brings a number of things to mind, some admittedly accurate, others less so. Stereotypes aside, one thing can’t be denied: millennials, all 80 million of them, are a (buying) force to be reckoned with.

As the nation’s largest generation, millennials’ spending power is enormous, expected to soar to $3.39 trillion this year. With the generation’s money-handling habits under scrutiny in recent years, brands are well aware that what inspires Baby Boomers to buy won’t necessarily have millennials reaching for their wallets.

Fueling what’s come to be known as the “experience economy,” research shows that millennials would rather shell out cash for memory-making opportunities than physical items. This means concert tickets instead of clothing and Mediterranean cruises instead of mortgages. In fact, a 2014 study found that 78% of millennials have adopted this attitude toward spending.

Unlike millennials’ obsession with avocado toast, this trend isn’t likely to go out of style any time soon. In the same 2014 study, almost 3 in 4 millennials surveyed said they hope to increase their “experience spending” in the next year.

As marketers continue to learn more about their audience’s tendency toward “experience spending,” they’re flipping the script and finding new ways to move the same merchandise.

Take an SUV, for instance. Instead of the vehicle’s low price point, millennials want to hear about the adventure that awaits on the open road – terrain that they can conquer in their new SUV. See? It’s all about flipping the script. What about a pediatric dentist? Motivating a busy mom to schedule an appointment means promising an experience that’s fun for the kiddos and stress-free for her. Then, of course, making good on that promise.

Say what you want about millennials, but ignoring their incredible spending power isn’t a wise move – and it certainly isn’t the one your competitors are making. Motivated Marketing can help devise innovative strategies to engage experience-seekers. After all, it’s a millennial’s world …

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