No longer in the midst of a free fall like many of the post-recession years, consumers are feeling more in control and have recognized that pre-recession they were living beyond their means. In fact, being forced to live with less during the recession has made consumers rethink their expectations. As consumers begin to see less in a new light, they’re realizing that less is not always about the lower end or the forced choice. Consumers have discovered that in many cases less just fits their lives better.
This shift to a taste for less has led to trends like “disownership,” where consumers now lease or borrow products instead of buying them outright. Combined with the decreased desire of ownership is the long-term trend of people valuing intangible experiences more than material possessions, based upon the notion that experiences lead to greater well-being than material things.
Source: U.S. Monitor State of the Consumer. (September 2013). The Futures Company.