Time is the New Luxury

Time is the New Luxury

‘Tis the season to wonder, “Where does the time go?” From running between parties and cramming in last-minute shopping to fitting in family time and counting down the seconds to the new year, the holidays seem to be full of everything but time.

Of course, people feel pressed for time year-round, not just during the holidays. A study by Gallup revealed that more than half of working Americans (a full 61 percent) feel they don’t have enough time to do what they want.

And a shift in our values, from owning things to having experiences, plays a role in this feeling. Experiences require our time as much as our money, and when we think of all the experiences we’d like to spend our time on, we’re reminded of the fact that our time is a limited resource.

Worse yet, though Americans’ leisure time has increased on average, a report by consulting firm White Hutchinson revealed that individuals with bachelor’s degrees or higher (higher-income consumers) have actually seen a decrease in their weekly leisure time.

Indeed, time has become the new luxury.

What’s it mean for marketers? The perceived time crunch has consumers more selective than ever about how they spend their time and how they engage with brands. They’re using services to eliminate tedious tasks, employing technology to cut through clutter and make decisions, and they’re avoiding wasted time wherever they can.

But while consumers actively avoiding brand messaging can seem dire, all is not lost. In fact, you can build stronger connections than ever by deliberately designing experiences your audience deems worthy of their time. Consider the approaches below.

Get on their to-do list

Consider experiences that allow your audience to accomplish a task they already planned to do, such as working out or running an errand. While you may not be able to remove that task altogether, if you can create a meaningful experience around it, your audience will see your brand as helpful and worthwhile.

Celebrity Cruises created a pop-up at a railway terminal in London that helped ease the morning commute. The pop-up provided commuters with refreshments, helped transfer their luggage and hail taxis, and awarded a VIP ride home that day to one lucky winner.

Time Focusing

Time deepening is the act of doing more activities in less time, such as engaging with a smartphone while watching TV. Though most of us do this, scholars find that it actually, more often than not, leaves us stressed and unfulfilled. Instead of building an experience with multiple activities and features, create something that allows your audience to focus their attention and energy.

Visitors to the Haagen-Dazs Masters Academy pop-up in London were able to learn more about their love of ice cream. The academy offered visitors demonstrations and talks all focused around the joy-filled subject of quality ice cream.

Deliver Social Currency IRL

Piers Fawkes, Founder of PSFK, suggests that quality leisure time, “isn't about lavish parties or extreme experiences, but it's about spending time with loved ones.” So while social currency in the sense of pictures or videos from a cool event is always welcomed, think about providing your audience real-life social time with friends and family.

GOXD and Cartoon Network have worked together to design experiences that bring this kind of memorable feel-good-fun meets real-life relevance to people’s lives. We engaged SXSW festival attendees and Austin locals alike with the premiere of the new Powerpuff Girls at SXSW. At the event, kids, families, and long-time PPG fans enjoyed a nighttime parade, candy and swag, and the first screening of an all-new episode. And most recently, we situated the dynamic trio of cartoon characters at a three-day pop-up shop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. New York parents found an opportunity to both entertain their kids for the afternoon and kick off their holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind customized Powerpuff swag.

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