Experiences over Stuff

With the rise in shared economy and an increasing trend of non-ownership, this was a curious, qualitative research study to gain a deeper understanding into the universe of products and services that millennials purchase. The study was conducted using generative exercises to access latent knowledge around their decision making and value system. 


Qualitative Research, Research Methods


Classroom Project



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Millennials represent roughly 25% of the U.S. population. 

It is important to understand their values and what makes a product worthy of their investment. 

Source: The Importance Of Millennial Consumers.” Investopedia.

Three hunt questions

The first step was to determine three key/hunt questions and then to formulate research exercises around them. 

4 Participants and 1 Expert interviewed

Participant specifications:

American Millennials (23 - 38 years)

Diverse group - Americans / Latin Americans / Asian Americans

Having their own space / room

People that value experiences over stuff 

Insights into how millennials see their universe of products and services


Products as vessels for experiences

Creating experiential products that are long-lasting and upgradable. With blurring lines between products and services, there is opportunity for businesses to stay connected with their customers long after the product is sold, via digital offerings. 

Products as means of self-expression 

To connect with the millennial consumers, brands must understand and align with their values and aspirations. Brands are increasingly becoming a means of self-expression for this consumer base as everyday purchase decisions become part of
their identity. 


Hoarding life experiences over stuff

Identifying products that would shift from assets to tools (experiences) / what people will stop owning. Creating businesses around subscription-based ownership of products or services that fulfill customer aspirations. 

Sharing makes it count 

Brands can gain attention by creating new, innovative, “limited-edition” experiences for their consumers. 

Businesses selling hardware products must also consider the experience of how their customers would instagram and show off their products after purchase. Designing a wholistic experience with their products, including capturing and sharing post purchase, is becoming increasingly essential. 


Desire for quiet and loyal products

With the increasing indifference among millennials towards brand labels, new businesses have the opportunity to create quality, minimalistic products. There is an increasing demand for clean, quiet and simple products. 

Research Analysis Methods