In just the past five years, much of the world has been completely reimagined. At the forefront of this is how Millennials travel, consume content and value experiences over possessions.
From Jerome Jarre’s 7.5 million-plus Vine followers (more than many cable TV shows) to sweetgreen’s concept (which is now a cultural brand incorporating music, community and lifestyle), it’s safe to say this world is very different from what it was just a few years ago.
As a whole, Millennials seem to value lifestyle above all else. It’s why companies like Lululemon have been so successful at creating a culture and building a brand around that concept.
In September 2014, Eventbrite conducted a study, which showed 78 percent of Millennials polled prefer to allocate more of their money to real-life experiences than material goods.
This desire is driving the term "FOMO" among today's youth and can explain why companies like Airbnb and HotelTonight have flourished by capitalizing on real-time decision-making.
At Metamorphic, we’re very interested in the aggregation of these trends and the businesses born around them. One of our portfolio companies, Wanderu, announced on November 4 that it has raised money to build a next-generation transportation brand.
Wanderu allows users to compare and book bus travel all over America and Mexico, providing a more enjoyable and cheaper form of travel, particularly benefitting Millennials.
From attending the nearest music festival, tailgating at a college, or visiting friends in nearby cities, bus travel is by far the cheapest and most convenient way to go about. There's no commitment to an expensive flight, and plans can be made quickly and easily at the last minute.
If a flight is the only way to get to your desired destination, Wanderu users also benefit from using buses to travel farther to airports with cheaper flight options.
In the grand scheme of adventure and experience, bus travel offers a much lower price point than other methods. These incremental dollars can be reinvested into different opportunities for exploration, such as music, sports and various other escapades.
It’s no longer about the journey versus the destination, as the journey is the destination. So, next time you're looking to book a getaway, instead of spending $600 on flights to Mardi Gras, take the bus. Make some new friends, experience the world and use the $500 you saved on having a great time.
Bus travel makes possible what driving or flying do not: It harbors a form of community and collaboration.
The desire for social experiences is very real among this generation, and it's activated through cultural attraction, community and common interest. Such a phenomenon is obvious through the rise of music festivals, like Electric Daisy Carnival and Tomorrowland, in addition to Bridge Day and college tailgates.
It's no surprise Snapchat is all the rage. In 2014 and beyond, experience is the venue.