The power of ‘Priceless’

Kirsty Redfearn, vice president integrated marketing and communications, Australasia, at Mastercard shares her thoughts on the recent Mastercard Experience Research and why now more than ever, consumers are prioritising experiences.

The pandemic has driven people to redefine their expectations of experiences. In fact, we uncovered that 71% of Aussies* value experiences over material possessions, meaning there is a growing expectation that experiences leave an everlasting positive imprint on lives, communities, and the world.

It’s been two decades since Mastercard tapped into the power of experiences and introduced its mantra of ‘Priceless’ to the world, a vision that continues to serve as a catalyst for development of deeper, richer, more compelling consumer engagement. Rooted in emotion and experiences, ‘Priceless’ leverages a universal truth – that experience, especially shared experiences, matter.

Many of the experiences this vision promised came down to special moments — the point wasn’t necessarily the ticket, the destination, or the item, but the long-lasting feeling it created for the people involved.

But, how do we value our experiences? When do moments become truly priceless memories? Priceless experiences mean many things to many people—and they’re willing to invest time and energy to make them happen.

Self-fulfilment key to consumers
After a year of a global health crisis, economic uncertainty, of isolation and introspection, we’ve found that people prefer experiences that not only better themselves but strengthen the connections with those around them. Seventy-one percent of Aussies prefer experiences that they can do with their family/friends over experiences for them alone. Whether it’s a surf-ski paddling tour of Sydney Harbour with loved ones, or cuddling koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary; experiences draw us closer to our connections.

Mastercard has been looking at the changing state of desired consumer experiences and cultural passions, on the shifting experience landscape putting consumer self-fulfilment at the centre. Through story-making, we’ve curated and/or enhanced experiences, anchored in nine consumer passion points — culinary, sports, music, entertainment, arts, travel, philanthropy, shopping, nature — to get consumers closer to the things they love.

The Mastercard Experience Research* takes a deep dive into how our passions and values are
evolving, and what we look for in experiences to make them truly matter.

Breaking away from the assumed
Some would ask or assume – after a year of learning and living our virtual lives, don’t people just want to break free? Has there been a fundamental shift? Data tells some of this story; and answers some of these questions. The Mastercard Experience Research revealed that just under half (43%) of Aussies say it is most important that an experience is an entertaining or relaxing break from the everyday and 50% agree it is important to spend time “unplugged”, without interruption from any device.

We’re seeing interests related to self-care / mental wellbeing, breaking away, escapism and
experiences with people and their pets, emerging as priorities. These emerging interests inform marketers, and offer ample space to craft experiences, digital or physical, from everyday to epic.

Priceless perspective
For Australian consumers, the best experiences leave them uplifted and connected. A truly
‘Priceless’ experience is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Even in the case of luxury experiences, for
Aussies these are more about indulgence (51%) than exclusivity (36%). We must make sure luxury experiences also deliver an element of emotional gratification, beyond a price point.

What’s ultimately changed over time is perspective. The importance of the fleeting, momentary pleasure is giving way to the appreciation of experiences that have a lasting impact.

59% of Aussies are seeking out new experiences to add to their bow, to their experience, to their story. They’re seeking fulfilment that’s enriching and everlasting. Now more than ever, consumers are prioritising experiences that are defined by lasting value over the ones that are fixed in fleeting moments – making them truly “Priceless”. And they’re looking for these experiences in the physical and digital world, with 39% of Aussies saying digital experiences can be as engaging as in-person experiences.

Mastercard has taken these learnings and is bringing people new experiences that connect them to their passions, help them pursue deeper levels of happiness, change them and maybe, even the world around them.

The Priceless brand campaign was introduced to the world more than 20 years ago, and although the world looks much different than it did at the time of debut, the value of a ‘Priceless’ experience still rings true. The ‘Priceless’ platform is brought to life by connecting consumers to their passions, in line with the rise of the experiential economy and growing consumer preferences for unique experiences over material purchases. Whether it’s witnessing magic, spicing up a routine, or making time and allowance for passions, as marketers we have the power to connect with consumers more than ever before, to “Start Something Priceless”.

*The Mastercard Experience Research was undertaken in December 2020. It comprised of:
#20-minute online survey of 17,895 consumers in 18 countries in five regions worldwide (NAM, EUR, LAC, MEA, Australia)
#1,000+ completed interviews per country
#General population, age 18+
#Research conducted on behalf of Mastercard Global Foresights, Insights and Analytics by Kantar.

Kirsty Redfearn, is the vice president integrated marketing and communications, Australasia, at Mastercard.


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