Aging well and creatively

By some estimates, there’s a $3 trillion-plus market in the US alone waiting to be tapped. Who’s the target: Aging boomers and senior citizens.

As we enter 2015, the mystery continues. Why hasn’t a new and more inspiring generation of products and services for older people worldwide been created, marketed and already raking in the big bucks?

As a Bloomberg Business News Service article from 2013 noted: “…That’s not to say there aren’t products targeted at the senior circuit — Depend undergarments, Fixodent denture cream, MedicAlert bracelets, even Swarovski crystal-studded walking canes. And who can forget LifeCall, made famous by late-night TV ads featuring the poor old woman who has ‘fallen and can’t get up’?”

But where are the products and services that target what this evolving and strengthening generation needs beyond “coping” goods and more of the same brands they grew up with and too many marketers think they can’t break free from. In fact, according to Nielson data, less than 20 percent of all advertising dollars in the US are dedicated to reaching this group, even though they watch more television, read more and drive more than younger demographics.

Field of possibilities is ripe

Why it is taking so long for products to be developed that meet the evolving of aging boomers may be confounding, but enough is known now about this new generation of seniors to get serious about meeting their needs. In 2015, those efforts will advance beyond products that target daily debilitating ailments, to products and services that enhance quality of life and feed the age-old need to engage creative energies late in life.

Across the globe, economic conditions have forced many aging boomers out of the work force early. They may be approaching retirement age, but are in no financial shape to retire — or even think about it. As we forecast, the prolonged economic stagnation has forced many people in the 50s, 60s and older to get creative with their need to survive economically. They are learning how to breathe new life into their efforts to survive by engaging more purposeful work and activities.

Furthermore, the myths about older people — they’re set in their ways, technophobic, unexcited about challenges, just want to relax in the warm sun, etc. — have been handedly dismantled. As such, marketers can be more confident in knowing how to engage this group.

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