Note to Home Builders and Car Companies: Millennials Want Experiences, Not Things

Noah Nelson explores the generational shift in the idea of ownership as Millennials ditch the traditional big ticket and consumer items - seemingly anything but a smartphone and food - for shared experiences.
August 21, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"It's not just cars that millennials question owning," writes Nelson. "Nearly any possession you can think of stopped being an 'of course' and became a 'hmmmm' for millennials. [Jill Hennessy, clinical professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University] says they're wondering whether 'it's not so great to own everything anyway.' She says the economy has been a big part of that shift. Millennials have witnessed the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. They've watched their parents struggle with financial insecurity no matter their education level."

"For someone born before Ronald Reagan was in office, this sounds like a nightmare," adds Nelson. "But Hennessy says that millennials are so gosh-darn optimistic that they put a positive spin on it. 'They're much more likely to find value in experiences than they are to find value in things,' she says."

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Published on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 in NPR
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