Serving the Silver Generation

“Bottom Line: Firms on the forefront of innovation often concentrate on introducing new products to younger consumers, but an aging population gives companies fresh opportunities as well.”

This is a statement from Matt Palmquist, a freelance business journalist from Oakland, California. His article “Serving the Silver Generation” appears as a blog post on a website called strategy+business.

He profiles some of the advancements made by corporations that want to stay relevant in a marketplace that must now figure out how to serve a rapidly growing mature consumer group.

“Firms seeking to exploit demographic changes should reallocate resources toward coming up with products, solutions, and services that meet older consumers’ demands. Moreover, they need to ensure that their employees have the right empathic capabilities and customer orientation toward older people, and they have to generate the appropriate marketing research intelligence on their customers’ needs and preferences.”

Click the link below to read Matt’s research .

Unlocking Opportunities in the Silver Market

Around the world, the growth of the senior market is taking centre stage as countries and businesses grapple with the challenges and opportunities it presents.

In Singapore, for example, a Silver Industry Standards Committee (SISC) develops standards to support the growth of mature consumers. The committee’s chairman, Robert Chew, offers some interesting insight into how government is working to build a strong structure to support healthy active aging.

His comments, featured in an online industry newsletter, acknowledge the market potential and huge opportunities that exist for businesses that embrace the growing senior trend.

“Given the silver industry’s huge market potential, there’s a need to boost the availability and accessibility of safe, good quality products and services for the seniors,” says Mr. Chew.

Click on the link below to access the newsletter that features this article.

More Seniors Than Under 15s

We knew this day was coming. There are now more seniors in Canada than there are people under 17.

This is the beginning of a growing trend that businesses must factor into their marketing plans.

With baby boomers starting to slide into the 65+ range, more attention needs to be paid to the products and services this powerful consumer group is looking for.

When you consider the 50+ market, which encompasses both seniors and soon-to-be seniors, you’re looking at almost 50 per cent of the adult population. Yet only about 15 per cent of the total marketing dollars get spent on this group.

Click on the link below to read the CBC news report which was posted September 29, 2015, noting the most recent Canadian population statistics.

Aging Boomers Stump Marketers Eyeing $15 Trillion Prize

By 2017, about half the U.S. adult population will be over the age of 50 and they will control 70 per cent of the disposable income, according to data tracker Nielsen.

So far, most companies have failed to understand and capitalize on this huge consumer market shift. Given the above statistics, that failure will cost them, says Matthew Boyle, the contributing writer to Bloomberg Business.

But some are catching on. For instance, introduced a website dedicated to customers over 50 in April 2015.

Only about 15 per cent of advertising dollars are spent on this demographic, despite accounting for almost half of consumer packaged goods sales, according to Nielsen data.

If you want more in-your-face statistics, boomers watch 174 hours of TV a month, 63 per cent more than the 18-34 year-old group. More than half of them are on Facebook.

In 2011, the peak age of vehicle buyers shifted upward to 55-64 from 35-44. Extrapolating that trend to 2015, means the peak age of vehicle buyers is now 59-68.

Todays’ seniors are looking for new experiences. They are willing to be enticed.

Don’t lump them all in one pot… they have a variety of different needs, not based on age so much as interests.

And finally, contrary to popular opinion, they’re not cheap. They continue to spend to maintain their lifestyle, even as they age.

Click on the link below to read the entire article in Bloomberg Business.

A New Vision of the Future

I publish an inspirational magazine about seniors who are living life to the fullest, so I’m startled when I hear someone say, “I won’t ever call myself a senior.” Or “I won’t be part of anything that has the word ‘senior’ connected to it.”

When did “senior” become a four-letter word?

A word that can evoke such strong emotion warrants investigation. What is it that repels some people, while not others?

Throughout history society has tended to judge harshly those they feel are unacceptable or weak by virtue of a physical characteristic or lifestyle choice.

Discrimination based on mental or physical capacity, gender, sexual preference or skin colour, has subsided immensely, replaced by an understanding and acceptance that these differentiating qualities are immaterial to the true value of the person.

By standard definition, “senior” is a word used to compare age; “senior” versus” junior”, “older” versus “younger”. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to wrap words into a story, attribute characteristics, imbue value and then pass judgment. This is what I believe has happened with the word “senior.”

In my experience, aversion to the word “senior” is primarily born out of fear and perception that is mythical in nature.   It has no real substance. It is nothing less than a feeling that arises from a thought we create by projecting our life forward, where we colour the unknown with the probability that life will be untenable, unacceptable, severely limiting and ultimately painful in nature.

With this vision of the future assaulting us, it is understandable that the response would be a negative feeling.

But what if we were to propel ourselves forward, without colouring it with PROBABILITIES of doom, but rather, POSSIBILITIES of expansion and greatness, of achievement and fulfillment, of brilliance and sustained happiness, of opportunity and success?

It is up to you which mindset you choose.

Are you gambling on the probability that you will lose it as you round the bend at age 65? Are fear and false perception propelling you toward a life filled with dread? Or are you framing your future with possibilities?

I choose to believe in possibility.

We have the power to transform our lives through what we focus on. It is high time, I believe, to make the shift, like we did with other prejudices, to acceptance and appreciation of the word “senior.” Try it on, as a friend not an enemy.

Believe in your value, no matter your age. Celebrate when you see someone who is too busy doing and living to worry about how old they are. Challenge yourself with the possibility of living life to the fullest without letting fear of aging slow you down.

Walk into the next chapter of your life without hesitation. Prepare to meet an extraordinary, gifted person who is confident, passionate and filled with joy. Be prepared to love the senior YOU.