The current experience-based economy is now evolving into something new with significant implications for marketers. As companies reach to offer more over the top experiences, the incremental enjoyment of these is providing less additional satisfaction. These excessive experiences in an overly abundant world are causing many to be bored and restless with the latest new thing, event, or happening.
This existential fidgeting is triggering a fundamental shift with consumers wanting to live a life with more significant accomplishments and meaning. People are longing for purpose, and this quest for personal transformation will be the basis of this next market era called the Hero’s Journey Economy™.
In the bestseller The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell points out that from the earliest cave drawings to Star Wars, we have told ourselves that we can be more than what we appear. Campbell writes that this transformational journey runs deep in the heart of all cultures. The names of the main characters and other details of the missions are different, but the themes are amazingly similar across the globe.
A common theme in this new era is that consumers will approach each new purchase asking the question:
Will this purchase help me reach my goals in this journey or is this purchase an indulgent reward/distraction?
Marketers must understand where their brands fit in this binary decision process and where the dollars are going to flow in their category. Marketers in categories like beer and ice cream are racing to introduce new products, so they are positioned to have distinct offerings on both sides of this purchasing choice.
Brands and experiences that provide support on these personal journeys will have a new and unique role of trusted companion in the minds of consumers. Many brands that are not in a position to support some personal transformation will, unfortunately, be left behind.