Shopping for Experiences: a millennial thing for this decade
“Shopping for experiences?” — one must think this is a rather strange notion, or a distantly foreign idea, to say the least. What if I tell you there’s a lot in common, although not perceptually correlated, between buying a dress and […]
“Shopping for experiences?” — one must think this is a rather strange notion, or a distantly foreign idea, to say the least. What if I tell you there’s a lot in common, although not perceptually correlated, between buying a dress and buying a session with a fashion designer to rebrand yourself?
Millennials are living in a tremendously empowering time, in which we choose how we would like to lead our lives. We look beyond the product — we seek its origins, its meaning, its impact. While we can easily shop for a dress, a consumer product in essence, it could be devoid of the experience of introspection, experimentation, and a deeper understanding of self.
That leads us to the notion of “shopping for experiences” — we shift the focus from the product to the experience.
A Jazzy Fashion Night experience in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam with a Saigon-based fashion designer, Tien Huynh — Photo by Vibeji, 2019
I am Tri Lecao, founder and CEO of Vibeji (formerly Landedvibe), an online platform for booking & hosting activities that connect experience-hosts with experience-seekers who are millennial at heart.
My startup, like many others, evolves and revolves around a single core passion that I have on a very personal level. I love to acquire moments that help me expand my known territories. Sometimes it can be as intangible as a good piece of new knowledge with a random yet cool person. Other times, it can be as memorable as the first Muay Thai practice in a park in Chiangmai. Or as unexpected as learning knife-sharpening technique in Arima Onsen.
Needless to say, raising Vibeji as an early-stage startup has been a real challenge which I couldn’t really foresee when I started writing the first few lines of its code back in 2018.
Nowhere too far, but right where you are
The challenge that we face is to plant the idea that people don’t have to travel far to experience something. The crux of the ideation for Vibeji lies in the contemplation that those experiences I had in Chiangmai or Japan do actually exist in Vietnam where I am a citizen.
From friendly Muay Thais, to wood carving, to latte art, Vibeji brings a diversity of activities that cater to every curious heart — photo by Vibeji
For so long, the words “new experiences” are often bound with “travelling”. The implication is that you won’t experience something new unless you go somewhere different. Anywhere but the city you’re in.
Vibeji, with its foundational mission, exists to challenge that line of thought. We want to stir up the belief amongst millennials that the city they are living in has too little to offer for their curious and experience-seeking mind.
There’s a lot in common between buying a dress and buying a session with a fashion designer to rebrand yourself.
An Experience, as an evolving concept, is a form of activity that you can undertake with guidance from a person who has passion in or knowledge of a certain subject matter. The outcome of such an activity is a wholesome feeling (or, let’s say, “experience”) which you could verbally describe to your friends with pride and enthusiasm — or simply embrace quietly in retrospect. Oftentimes, you would also receive tangible rewards like crafted products, new knowledge and skills. An Experience host, unlike class teachers or workshop instructors, are a down-to-earth figure who puts how you feel above what you get.
It is true though. What you get will eventually become dated or irrelevant, it’s the experience that sticks and stays.
In my view, an Experience Host is a composer of feeling, value and effect.
Progressive and millennial at heart
In this year of 2020, I have set a personal mission to make Experiences “shop-able” for the progressive and millennial, wherever they are in Vietnam. My mission, shared amongst a team of talents I’m lucky enough to be working with, is bringing Vibeji closer to others so that each of us will have a chance to enhance our weekly routine through a wide range of Experiences. To connect, to grow, and to express.
In 2020, we want to discover a lot more kinds of Experiences from undiscovered hosts to freshen our platform; and make shopping/browsing for Experiences easier every day for the our users/seekers. It will bring a big smile to our face if one day 10% of the millennials in Vietnam think of us as a place to spice up their life, weekly or monthly, with a community of people they enjoy their precious time with.
Shopping for Experiences isn’t just paying for a class or a workshop to learn something, it’s a ticket to a better version of yourself — to learn from others, to share with others, and to absorb the vibes spread in the open air by the wonders of human’s creativity and wisdom.
Written by Tri Lecao
#SharingaVibe January 2020