29 Aug Forget Gen Z: meet the new cohort innovators are going after
Senior Consultant Gaby Eden-Badger uncovers the hidden cohort that could drive the future growth of your brand.
The marketing world is abuzz with Gen Z, but in the background there is another cohort quietly developing into an even greater opportunity: growing faster, with more spending potential – and chronically underrepresented by brands today.
By 2050, the UN projects a threefold increase in the percentage of people 65-plus (compared to a decline of those 15 and younger to just over a fifth of the global population). While the rest of the world is buzzing about Gen Z, who’s planning for the boom of Generation Silver?
A number of brands have begun to recognise the enormous opportunities that Gen S offers. Apple and IBM recently teamed up to launch a new iPad in Japan designed specifically for older consumers, with simpler interfaces, larger fonts, a modified version of FaceTime and an array of specialised apps.
But while there are ample opportunities to create new products that meet the specific or more advanced needs of consumers over 65+, brands also need to adapt the way they think about and design existing products for Gen S – and it’s not necessarily in the way you might expect.
To Gen S, life stage and mindset are just as important as age. Innovation and youthfulness should not just be reserved for the young: we’re seeing 25-year-old CEOs and 70-year-old entrepreneurs. Consumers over 65 are increasingly fit, healthy and technologically savvy. They are avid explorers, athletic enthusiasts, increasingly active online, and aren’t necessarily sitting at home knitting. Most importantly, they are actively open to connecting with brands which they feel reflect their true selves, rather than treating them with the broad brush of aged infirmity.
The Gen S cohort should also be of enormous interest to the luxury goods market, which will continue to strengthen as older consumers with more disposable income drive strong demand for quality, high-end clothing, technology and accessories. Euromonitor says it “…. expects luxury goods, a $370bn market, to grow 5.4% over the next five years, fuelled by the older segment of the population.”
Huge opportunities await brands that can address the shift from young to old and deliver something which offers inclusivity and relevance this un-tapped cohort of Gen S consumers. The questions is not so much whether, but when brands will wake up to their potential.
At Mash, we’ve done a lot of work with clients looking to expand their portfolio or adjust propositions to win the silver segment – get in touch with us if you’re interested to hear more.