Remember the good old days when we brewed coffee at home, went to the grocery to buy ingredients for dinner, and played pin the tail on the donkey at kids' birthday parties?

Those days are gone, and we have instead entered the experience economy: We go to Starbucks where our favorite barista is happy to prepare our beverage of choice; we have fresh ingredients delivered to our doorsteps from Blue Apron for at-home gourmet meals; we hire entertainment companies and actors to transform our backyards into zoos and medieval castles so our children can have the ultimate birthday celebration.

Although the concept of the experience economy is not new, brands are capitalizing on the trend to deliver more than just goods and services to their customers: They're now creating memories via participatory events, as well.

The opportunity is mutually beneficial; such events facilitate long-term brand loyalty, and customers increasingly seek to connect with more than just a company's products.

Unsurprisingly, the 75.4 million Millennials, America's largest generation, are the most active group with a renewed focus on having experiences, not things—and they are coming of age where they have larger disposable incomes to spend on your brand.

Knowing that experiences are critical to connecting with this influential group, is your brand prepared to cater to Millennials as they enter their prime earning years?

Here are seven ways how you can benefit from the experience economy and stand out against your competition.

1. Define what you stand for, and let your customers know

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image of Krystal Putman-Garcia

Krystal Putman-Garcia is vice-president of marketing for Localist, an event-marketing technology company offering Cloud-based calendars that help companies publish, manage, and promote events.

Twitter: @KPutmanGarcia

LinkedIn: Krystal Putman-Garcia