Audiences continue to seek out new, niche and novel experiences in search of deeper, more meaningful engagement. Follow along the report for full insights and key, actionable takeaways. This month’s trends spotted by GPJ Strategists Josh Fischer and Meghan Michalski.

Niche hobbyists are forming new communities around
aesthetic rarities.

While old hobbies like sports card collecting are booming, new ones—like designer ball python breeding—are emerging online and IRL. Card collectors film themselves making trades and “live-breaking”—opening packs in search of Willy Wonka-like golden tickets, such as novel Tom Brady baseball cards or others with “authentic” game-worn jerseys built into them.

Artists and designers are using scent to make experiences more memorable.

The use of scent has been everywhere recently from the art world, to children’s museums, to brand activations. Korean artist Koo Jeong A’s “scent map” presents the smells of Korea for her country’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale. And a new dinosaur exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences takes visitors “back to the cretaceous” with scents and sounds conjuring an ancient forest.

Consumers grapple between the desire to experience excitement and novelty, while still maintaining their financial stability.

In a post-COVID world where comparison culture and a ‘carpe diem’ mentality thrive, consumers (and brands) seek experiences that often feel extreme–whether physically, financially, or both. From the Barkley Marathon, a near-impossible athletic feat with an elevation gain equivalent to summiting Mount Everest twice, participation in hustle culture and “loud budgeting” are also increasing while more and more brands are gamifying fin-ed basics.

Kendrick and Drake’s epic feud resurfaced, spawning 9 diss tracks, captivating fans, and igniting public discourse.

The ’diss’ is essential to hip hop, and the Internet has only accelerated this tradition. The 10+ year feud between Pulitzer laureate Kendrick Lamar and commercial juggernaut Drake climaxed between March and May. Fans got 9 brand new tracks, with each release poetically challenging the former. The rappers utilized different social platforms to release new music, sandwiched by cryptic social media posts; both even removed copyrights allowing influencers to stream their reactions freely.


People, brands and marketers continue to push the boundaries of physical and digital experiences, with new and creative executions popping up across the globe.

The recent 2024 Mill Valley Music Festival became the first-ever U.S-based festival to operate entirely on renewable energy, in the form of mobile zero-emission batteries.

Nospace, a Y2K-inspired,  soon-to-be-launched social media network targeting Gen Z, is generating significant buzz and anticipation ahead of its launch in June.

Mattel is evolving an old classic with Pictionary Vs. AI, which updates the legacy game by leveraging AI for image recognition and player interaction.

Meow Wolf co-founder Corvas Brinkerhoff is building an immersive, out-of-this-world spa experience in Austin, TX.

Catch up on all our previous Experience Intelligence reports. Or schedule a strategy session with us!