“If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be a top priority.” – Richard Branson

Recent studies have shown that people are buying less often and less overall. Consumer habits have seen a major shift since 2013, McKinsey cities an increased ambivalence towards consumption. Buying more and more things as a source of identity and meaning seems to be gradually but consistently falling out of favor.

Consumers as a whole, are increasingly interested in experiences instead; the priority is making and sharing memories – interacting with other people and places, attending events, undertaking adventures and so on.

Savvy marketers understand that Experiences are King. There is a fundamental shift in consumer values towards experiences that bring happiness and well-being. Spending on things like travel, leisure and food service as part of the experience economy is predicted to rise to US$8.0 trillion by 2030

The latest figures from Barclays (which processes about half of all Britain’s credit and debit card transactions) show a 20% increase in spending in lifestyle activities. Spending in restaurants went up 16%, while theatres and cinemas enjoyed a 13% rise. Meanwhile, department stores suffered a 1% drop, vehicle sales were down 11% and spending on household appliances fell by 2.5%.

Society is constantly and increasingly bombarded by digital stimuli, to a point where they can often make us feel numb. Triggering a shift back to offline experiences, as online interactions become over-saturated. Digital will instead become the invisible fabric and engine of our lives, leading to the creation of physical experiences that involve our bodies, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions.

Consumers are quickly realizing that “Things fade, but memories last a lifetime”.

recent study conducted at Cornell University found that consumers’ “evaluations of their material goods went down from the time of the initial purchase to the present, but their evaluations of their experiences tended to go up, indicative of hedonic adaptation to the possessions but something quite different for their experiences.”

The human experience – the design of all experiences – will be the new and thriving discipline. Companies, Organizations and even Charities (Creators), are looking towards experiences to engage audiences and to drive future revenue and sales. GoLivMo is poised to connect Creators with Consumers, who are on the active lookout for such Experiences. The goal was always to have more stories to tell and never more stuff to show.

Social media also appears to have helped accelerate the growing demand for experiences. Facebook and Instagram likes and creative snaps are now the ultimate social currency for millions, especially millennials, and the quest for likes requires a constant stream of new shareable content in the form of stories and pictures.

Experiences play into this thirst for content because they are more likely to lead to such stories and pictures than the purchase of a new product would be.

Even experiences that don’t turn out as expected— say, a long flight delay or rainy football game—eventually turn into shareable stories.

Luxury tiers are going through a similar purchasing shift. Creating a unified dream where a brand’s guests can not just partake of the brand’s values and products but commune with other like-minded individuals is a new holy-grail.

What do you give someone who can buy anything their heart desires?

Give them something they can’t buy.