Unlocking the Power of Experience: The four realms of millennial engagement

There are four realms of designing an experience for a millennial-buying experience:

There are four realms of designing an experience for a millennial's buying experience: entertainment, educational, escapist, and aesthetic.

  1. Entertainment is often about watching an experience passively.
  2. Educational is often about active participation that’s immersive for them to learn new things and take action.
  3. Escapist experiences are educational and amusing and involve a lot of customer immersion.
  4. An aesthetic experience is an escapist experience with less client participation.

Diagram: Welcome to the Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore in the Harvard Business Review

When I was leading my family's property development company, I noticed a gap in the market. People still wanted the "great Australian dream" of owning their own home, but the buying and building process had become lackluster and transactional. Most of the time, customers would go to a real estate agent and be handed a price list, with little to no memorable experience throughout the process. So, I decided to take it upon myself to create a six-star client experience and bring the dream back to the building experience.

To do this, I established a "building hub" in the heart of the CBD, where customers could come and receive personalized attention and care. We started by being "interested" rather than interesting, taking the time to get to know our clients and understand their needs and desires. We created custom presentations that showcased our family's 100-year legacy in property development, our profit and purpose cause where we donated money from each block sold to bipolar disorder research, and we even created personalized maps of builders, finance options, and other partnerships to help our clients achieve their dream lives.

But the real "wow" factor came in the form of a surprise helicopter ride over their future block of land. If a customer was interested in a particular block, we would invite them to join us on a flight over the area, taking in the stunning views and capturing memories they would never forget. Many of our customers had never been in a helicopter before, and the experience left them feeling exhilarated and ready to deposit money on the block.

Creating this kind of experience wasn't easy, but it was well worth the effort. Our clients became our biggest advocates, spreading the word about our exceptional service and one-of-a-kind experiences. By taking the time to go above and beyond, we were able to bring the magic back to the home-building process and create unforgettable memories for our clients.

Unlocking the next era of luxury: How millennials are redefining experiences and authenticity online

Let's talk about how millennials are changing the luxury space. Gone are the days when luxury was just about owning expensive bags or flashy jewelry. Millennials are looking for more than just material possessions. They value experiences and authenticity, and they want luxury brands to align with their values, particularly sustainability and social responsibility.

For luxury brands, this means that they must tap into the experiential economy and create a luxury experience for their customers. They need to incorporate digital technology and create an immersive environment that aligns with their customers' values. Brands that are successful in this space are those that make millennials feel good about themselves and allow them to use generated content to showcase their affiliation with the brand.

A great example of a brand that has done this well is Burberry. Under the leadership of former CEO Angela Ahrendts, Burberry embraced digital technology and social media. They used bold photography to engage millennials on their own turf, and they created an innovative social media campaign, including "Art of the Trench," which allows visitors to upload photos of themselves in Burberry trench coats. Burberry's stores are an extension of the brand's digital presence, featuring enormous screens that display live streams of catwalk shows and viral media campaigns.

According to the latest data, more than eight out of ten Gen Z consumers and nearly two-thirds of millennials follow luxury brands on social networks. And a significant percentage of them say they have purchased something after discovering a product on a social network, particularly on YouTube and TikTok. There is also growing interest among consumers in new technologies, such as virtual fitting rooms that allow them to test products without leaving their couches.

What all of this shows us is that millennials are seeking self-expression through luxury brands. They want to feel a deeper connection to their authenticity and know that their dollars are going beyond profits. Luxury brands that align with their values and causes closest to their hearts are the ones they trust the most and are willing to invest in. By 2025, millennials and Gen Z will account for 45% of the global personal luxury goods market, which means that luxury brands that can tap into this market will have a significant advantage over their competitors.

So, if you're a luxury brand looking to capture the millennial market, focus on creating a luxury experience that aligns with their values and incorporates digital technology. Remember, it's not just about selling products; it's about creating a lifestyle that millennials want to be a part of.

Practical tips to reach the new buyer, the millennial

Are you ready to take your business to the next level by engaging with the millennial buyer? Look no further, because here are some practical ways to shift your mindset when it comes to branding, sales, marketing, and business to appeal to this generation.

First and foremost, it’s important to create a compelling brand story that aligns with a purpose beyond profits and meaningful causes in the world. Millennials are drawn to brands that are socially conscious and make a positive impact on the world. They want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, so creating a culture around your brand that focuses on authenticity and real self-expression is key.

Instead of solely using shiny images, incorporate generated content that reveals the authentic self-expression of both the brand and the clients. Celebrate your clients’ passions and speak to their power rather than their pain. By doing so, you create a sense of belonging and inspire your clients to "live the brand" and become brand ambassadors.

In addition, it’s important to provide futurist pictures of what’s to come and focus on how, by being in the brand, millennials can push humanity forward through social causes and problems in the world. Create measurable beneficial change through each decision they make in your business, linking their participation with a measurable social cause such as feeding a child or rescuing a child from sex trafficking.

Consider creating experiences through your client journey that create a memorable bucket list experience. This will create an emotional connection to your brand and make your clients feel like they are part of a community.

Collaborate with other brands to build brand awareness and tap into brand loyalty and trust, rather than relying solely on traditional advertising. Incorporate an overall digital experience into your product or service and forums that help millennials connect with others, share, and feel a sense of belonging to a tribe of people like them.

Offer opportunities for millennials to practice "authenticity" by sharing their wins, challenges, or being celebrated for doing good along their journey with your brand. Be as transparent, real, and authentic as possible throughout the client's journey.

Lastly, review your sales and marketing pipelines and look for ways to make them fun and memorable rather than transactional. Leverage creating affiliate partnerships with clients so they can be rewarded for sharing with their friends about what you do and tapping into brand loyalty.

By incorporating these practical ways to engage with the millennial buyer, you can create a brand that resonates with this generation and builds long-term loyalty.

Story time: Embracing the brilliance within The journey of the unconventional

Have you ever felt like the odd one out? Like a misfit challenging the status quo while the world around you adheres to conventional norms and values? I know exactly how that feels. From my earliest memories, I've walked a path that deviated from the mainstream. And what initially posed my greatest challenge—embracing my authentic self—ultimately became the most transformative and fulfilling journey of my life.

The fusion of spirituality, strategy, and self-expression is my profound passion. You see, without self-expression, my life felt confined, restricted by a suffocating black suit and a set of prescribed rules to "fit in." The first half of my career was plagued by a nagging sense of being trapped in a narrow box, constantly seeking approval and validation from others. But when I embarked on a soulful quest to explore my femininity and masculinity, a remarkable transformation occurred. From the depths of my self-understanding, I broke free from the conventional expectations thrust upon me as a female leader. Looking back, the woman I once was would never have fathomed presenting, speaking, and expressing herself as I do now. She would have been consumed by fear, paralyzed by the opinions of others, and left wondering why true happiness and fulfillment eluded her grasp.

We've all encountered those individuals radiating with joy and purpose, and in our moments of uncertainty, we question their authenticity. Envy and jealousy may creep in as we attempt to dissect their success, desperate to find flaws or discredit their achievements. But this response stems from a lack of confidence. When viewed through the lens of growth, however, these individuals become beacons of inspiration, guiding us toward our own potential.

In the realm of personal branding, disrupting an industry is as simple as standing firmly for your unique self-expression. While others may stand for or against similar ideas, skills, or values, no one can replicate the essence of who you are. Your story, gifts, personality, and quirks are your most invaluable assets—ones I implore you to embrace wholeheartedly. By embracing the label of being the "crazy one," I discovered the power of self-autonomy. I took charge of how I presented myself, set my life's standards, chose where to invest my time and energy, and carefully selected mentors who aligned with my vision. Each day, I consciously refuse to relinquish my power to seek external approval or validation. Instead, I revel in the liberating freedom of validating my inner self, honoring every facet of my self-expression, and allowing my authentic self to be seen by me first and foremost.

This profound connection to my self-expression fuels my fulfillment along the journey. I dance, I sing, and I engage in practices that celebrate my sacred sexuality, embodiment, femininity, and masculinity—practices I now teach my clients. By prioritizing enjoyment and cherishing precious moments with loved ones, I infuse every step with joy and levity. And here's a mantra I hold dear: the more fun I have, the more impact and abundance I create! Embrace this mantra and witness the transformation that unfolds as you liberate your self-expression and journey forward with newfound freedom.


So, illuminator, embrace the brilliance within you. Celebrate your uniqueness, dance to your own rhythm, and honor the journey of self-expression. For it is through this audacious embrace of your true self that you'll discover unparalleled fulfillment and unlock the boundless potential that lies within.

This is an excerpt of the best-selling book by Samantha J. called "Illuminator; click here for the full copy: https://www.iamsamanthaj.com/books

About Samantha j.

Samantha J. is the sought after “Illuminator” - the world’s only luxury business strategist and medicine woman, that merges spirituality, strategy and self expression to help coaches and personal brands to scale to 7-8 figures and become fulfilled in all areas of their life along the way! Samantha is also a multi 8 figure award winning entrepreneur, 6 x best-selling author and soulful speaker.

Her unconventional approach, helps coaches stand out with a luxury brand, and social impact focus, to build an empire that merges purpose and profit, unifying the world by solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as poverty, climate change and eradicating sex trafficking. Samantha has been named as one of the Top 20 Entrepreneurs on the Rise by Fox in 2021, and one of the Top 7 Women Paving the Way of Success in 2022 by Disrupt Magazine, for her efforts, with a vision to help 100 million purposeful and profitable empires in her lifetime through her business school Humanitarian B-School and her luxury business agency, Illuminator.

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