What is the Real Reason Millennials Won't Buy Cars?

Josh Allan Dykstra argues that the reason Millennials aren't buying cars, or much of anything else for that matter, is due to "an evolution in consciousness" that is changing what it means to own something. And it isn't limited to one generation.
July 16, 2012, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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For his jumping off point, Dykstra points to a recent article in The Atlantic that explores the possible explanations for the drop off in car ownership amongst Millennials (rise in urban living? bad economy?), and the ways in which car companies were looking to reverse the trend.

Noting a wider "ownership shift" amongst multiple generations that is "emerging in all sorts of areas, from car-buying to music listening to entertainment consumption," Dykstra argues that, "To 'own something' in the traditional sense is becoming less important." 

According to Dykstra, "the reason we acquire 'stuff' is becoming more about what we get from the acquisition. Purchasing something isn't really about the thing itself anymore. Today, a product or service is powerful because of how it connects people to something--or someone--else. It has impact because we can do something worthwhile with it, tell others about it, or have it say something about us."

With this insight, he offers three central motivations for why people are purchasing things now and suggests how products and services can tap into those impulses. 

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Published on Friday, July 13, 2012 in Fast Company
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