No value in people aged 60+? That’s old news

By: Alicia Dowsett

At Decidedly we believe in challenging assumptions and stretching thinking.

For years, brands have overlooked ‘older’ audiences when it comes to consumer research. Recruitment specs would stop at age 55, leaving whole portions of society with no consumer voice.

As of 2016, people aged 60+ make up nearly 25% of the UK population. That means a quarter of people’s opinions and needs are left out of ‘mainstream’ marketing and innovation. If we look further still, in 2017 there were 579,776 people aged 90 years and over living in the UK – an increase on the 513,450 in 2012. We are living in an ageing society, one that has been underrepresented by brands. But, times now appear to be changing.

MOVE OVER MILLENNIALS, HERE COMES THE OVER 50s

Just last week, British Vogue issued an over 50s special featuring Jane Fonda – its oldest ever cover star at 81 years old. It also included features such as the Perks And Pitfalls Of Life Over 50.  As Fonda herself states, “it’s important to understand that older women are the fastest growing demographic in the whole world. It’s time to recognise our value.”

In tech, it appears that brands are starting to listen too. The American Association of Retired Persons chaired a segment at CES 2019 (formerly the Consumer Electronic Show). They hosted the first ever CES Pitch Competition, featuring pitches from 8 start ups with products aimed at people 50+. One of the winners, Healium by StoryUp, uses brain-wave sensors and VR to reduce stress and also provides virtual travel. StoryUp started in 2015 with a solution for terminally-ill WWII Veterans who weren’t able to physically travel to see their memorials in Washington DC.

As more brands realise that this is an audience that wants to be seen and heard, agencies need to be positioned to find, and talk to, what can be a hard-to-reach audience. Here at Decidedly, our toolkit of techniques ensures we not only find the right people but also access the best possible insights.