Why check out the new coffee shop that’s 45-mimnutes away from home? For the increasing number of millennials, it’s all for the experience that can be taken in — the coffee or whatever drink to be purchased or consumed is relatively unimportant. With the visible trend in prioritizing ‘experience’ over ‘stuff,’ it’s become more challenging for some businesses to snatch up customers with only products and services. Think, one of the most talked of commercial establishments, Hannam Starfield (sure, part of the spiel is that it’s large and run by the biggest conglomerate in the country). What it’s succeeded to do, with more than 30 activity venues inside is offering experiences that may deem ideal or exciting for a target audience.
From now on, we will be seeing more experience-focused business like that in Seoul. So, what’s everyone buying right now? There are the escape rooms which are quite popular these days, and some cafés have included new technologies like drones, VR games and personal transpiration devices targeting the experience-hungry customers. Then there’s the “VR bang” which is not like the regular PC bangs. You can jump around and shake off the stress at Bounce Trampoline Park, have a special experience of darkness at Dark Room Episode, or become a maze-runner at Dynamic Maze. Elements of virtual and augmented reality have been incorporated in the trend as well. At Innisfree cosmetics’ Gangnam flagship store, you can be on a virtual date with actor Lee Min-ho in Jeju island. Strange, sure, but you’d need to wait in line for a while if you ever decide to try. So, yes, people are willing to open up their wallets for a one-time experience, to buy memorable experiences.
Experience is now the preferred content of the millennial consumers, and accordingly an integral part of business. Many of the brands will hence continue their effort to produce unique experiences to gain leads in the market, while social networks and emerging technologies will be incorporated more in such endeavors. The results are yet to be seen, but as our desires and cravings grow, so will the extent of the essentially commercial experiences.