From our research, we expect both consumers and brands to become more aware of the need to rethink assumptions around ageing. There is no single way in which we age and as with other diverse communities such as gender, race and sexual identity, brands will have to face up to the reality that one size does not fit all.
Indeed, brands that want to stake a claim to having a social purpose will have to become more inclusive of all communities, including the ageing population. As a culture we have tended to shy away from the reality of the ageing experience, instead choosing to promote youthfulness. Yet, to remain relevant brands will increasingly have to embrace the ageing population and its broad needs and demands.
There is, however, still a long way to go. In Sweden, where over 60s make up a quarter of the population, a 2018 study of representation in the media, found that this group occupied a mere 5% share of total ‘media buzz’ in 2014. This is only a slight improvement on the share in 1994 which was 3%.
From pharmaceuticals to clothing, beauty products to tech; as our society ages, marketing the concept of newness to a younger consumer will no longer prove financially viable. Instead, brands will have to choose between pursuing an ageless approach, in which products are designed to work for anyone regardless of age, or tailoring products and services to appeal to older consumers who demand aesthetically and thoughtfully designed goods that reflect the diversity of their experiences and aspirations.
We should all consider carefully how we think about and treat older people. Because ‘old’ is the one minority group to which we will one day all belong.
For more insight on the need for age positivity, check out our Flat Age women market analysis on LS:N Global.