In an online survey just released by GfK, half of Canadians firmly* believe that experiences are more important than possessions – compared to just 3% who firmly disagree with that. And about one in four (23%) firmly prefer to have more time than more money – compared to only 9% who firmly* disagree with that.
GfK asked 22,000 people across 17 countries how strongly they agree or disagree with two statements: “I would rather have more time than more money” and “Experiences are more important than possessions.”
Internationally, three times as many people firmly agree than disagree that they would rather have more time than more money. And well over ten times as many people firmly agree than disagree that experiences are more important than possessions.
Canada comes in third globally, alongside Brazil, for strongly agreeing that life experiences are far more important than possessions, but ranked eighth on the list for their preference for time over money.
More Americans than Canadians surveyed prefer time over money (29% in US versus 23% for Canada). The US also leads slightly in agreement that experiences are more important than possessions (53% for US versus 49% for Canada).
While income plays a factor in consumers’ mindsets, it is possibly not as important as might be imagined. There is only a 5 percentage point difference between Canadians in high income households and those in low income households, when it comes to the numbers who would prefer to have more time rather than more money (25% versus 20%).
A similar picture is seen in people’s perception that experiences are more important than possessions. Slightly more than half Canadians in high income households agree with this (54%), compared to 48% of those in low income households.
Money becomes relatively more important to those over 60
There are also some differences to be noted between different age groups. Canadians in their twenties have the highest percentage of any age group that would prefer more time to more money – standing at almost a third (28%). Only 10% of them firmly disagree with the notion.
In contrast, for those aged 60 and over, there is a much tighter difference in the numbers favoring more time to more money (15%) versus those indicating they would rather have more money than more time (12%).
Interestingly, when looking at the perceived value of experiences versus possessions, over half of Canadian teenagers and those in their fifties are the most in favor of experiences over possessions, with 57% and 54% each firmly agreeing with this.
GfK’s findings clearly show market potential for brands that can associate themselves in consumers’ minds with giving quality time back into people’s lives, or with making daily tasks simpler and faster. Brands can also raise themselves above close competitors by identifying ways to turn their purchase process into more of an experience for the consumer.
It is, of course, important to look at how the results differ within each individual country – and this data is available in GfK’s complimentary report of findings for each of the 17 countries: www.gfk.com/global-studies/global-study-overview/