Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the holiday season is officially upon us, and it is time to begin deciding what gifts to get the Millennials and Gen Z consumers in your life. Historically, there has been a misconception that these generations only have a desire for technology-related gifts such as gaming consoles and iPhones. While this has been true to some extent, Millennial and Gen Z gift preferences have shifted to match their entertainment preferences. Before we look at their gift choices, it is important to understand this shift.
When it comes to their entertainment choices, young consumers have shifted from a focus on screen-based entertainment to a desire for experience. This is a change that has taken place over the past few years as Millennials and Gen Z have had a stronger desire for personal interaction and shared experience. In fact, travel and concerts are two of their top five paid entertainment preferences, and both are usually shared with friends or peers who are at a similar point in life.
As their entertainment preferences have shifted, Millennial and Gen Z gift preferences have shifted in turn. For this holiday season, the number one gift request between these two generations is money, followed closely by travel, clothing, and tickets/other experiences. All of these requests show the Millennial and Gen Z desire to have flexibility in their lives along with experiences, especially ones that can be shared. Technology does show up in their top ten requests, but it is no longer the priority in their lives that it once was. It is clear that younger consumers have grown out of the stage in life where their attention was consumed by screens. They now have a much stronger desire to be out in the world doing things and experiencing life instead of watching other people on a screen having those same experiences.
How should your brand respond to this change? You must think carefully through your messaging to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Focus on the experience that only you can provide, and if that experience is shared with your consumer’s friends, so much the better. Appeal to their desire for a break from ordinary life with something unique and memorable that will not only give them a reason to return but also to bring their friends as well.