Hashtag culture has the power to catapult everything into the global limelight. Brands and companies now focus on creating campaigns that have “shareability” and “virality” – gaining maximum reach. If done correctly the reposted digital content can spread like wildfire – providing a fast, affordable and effective way for brands to engage with a global audience. It is exactly these dynamics which force major shifts and changes in modern businesses. For instance, there is the problem of how to attract the millennial consumer, who has a plethora of new shopping habits that the global market is continuously trying to decode. One important aspect of these consumers, however, is their demand for shareable experiences.
Reshaping traditional industries
The fashion industry has been experimenting for some time now with new ways to capture the attention of consumers and drive social disruption. The fashion brand Chanel did just that at its show in September when its designer Karl Lagerfeld sent light-up sandals down the Paris Fashion Week runway as though to illuminate the emergency exit path for his Aviation-themed collection. This simple, yet disruptive idea got some serious media and social attention.
Augmented and virtual reality is at the forefront of this movement. Technology has empowered us to experience a variety of things at a click of a button. Companies such as Goinstore, Augment and Holition are pioneering this tech-retail revolution, enabling and facilitating our experiential future.
Premium lighting, manufacture and design company Northern Lighting uses advanced digital technology Augment to link its 2D print materials, such as catalogues, to its virtual product showroom where its entire furniture collection is available in 3D augmented reality – giving the customer ability to try all of the lamps in scale in augmented reality from the comfort of their own homes.
The Uber effect
The growth of the sharing economy together with the rise of millennial-thinking brands like Airbnb, Uber and, BlaBlacars, are an excellent example of the Uber effect (the new appetite for on-demand services). Airbnb is the perfect example with the millennial traveller choosing a quirky apartment and unique central experience over a hotel. They want a more genuine and local experience. As of March of this year, Airbnb is valued somewhere around $20 to $25 billion – doubling in value from 2014.
When looking at the hospitality industry, hotels are gearing up their experiential offering to include revised decor, updating rooms with trendier furnishings and glitzing up lobbies with musical acts, to adding services such as budget prices, 24-hour cafes, full-service bars and even yoga classes in pursuit of the millennial traveller. And in a nod to this digitally conscious generation, they are wooing them with social media, concierge apps, free wifi and smartphones used as room keys.
In order for success, companies and brands need to question how they deliver a shareable lifestyle experience that adds value to the millennial consumer.
Article written by Viktoria de Chevron Villette, co-founder of the Millennial 20/20 Summit.
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