The Silver Economy Comes of Age...
Open any lifestyle magazine and you will probably see the likes of Julia Roberts, Madonna, Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda and Joan Didion flying the flag for Givenchy, Versace, L'Oreal, and Céline respectively.
Employing more mature celebrities to endorse products in a world saturated with pouting teens and seductive twenty-somethings, is evidence of a growing trend of brands readdressing an affluent market which is feeling misunderstood, with 67% of mature British consumers claiming that advertising portrayed them negatively and 75% not relating to advertising at all*, (* Age UK.)
Bright Old Things
The good news for Babyboomers is change is in the air. When it comes to spotting new trends, fashion and beauty brands are usually ahead of the curve and leading department stores are never far behind. By way of example, in an innovative twist on its annual Bright Young Things campaign (see picture above), Selfridges decided to celebrate what it calls the retirement renaissance, with window and in-store displays featuring inspirational individuals who've embraced a new creative vocation later in life.
Selfridges' Creative Director Linda Hewson explains the store's strategy: "As a centenary-old department store which has been successfully reinventing itself over and over again, it made so much sense for us to shine a light on the wealth of talent and experience harnessed by bright, older creatives. These people can definitely teach us all a thing or two about growing old whilst staying young at heart and relevant."
Influential trade publication Business of Fashion, believes this focus on older people is timely. Citing statistics compiled by consultants AT Kearney, BoF reveals that consumers aged 60 and older spent more than $8 trillion worldwide in 2010. What's more, by the end of this decade that figure will have jumped to $15 trillion, making it essential for businesses to successfully engage older consumers and tap into the opportunity presented by what the European Commission calls the Silver Economy.
In separate research for the Financial Times by Silversurfers website, 82% of retirees said they felt businesses and brands did not understand their lifestyle and 69% thought advertising aimed at the elderly was patronising.
Commenting on the results, Ros Altmann, the UK government's Business Champion for Older Workers, said the opportunity to market to older consumers was like "buried treasure" for astute companies; "There's a whole new phase of life up for grabs which nobody's catered for. The over-60s are looking to spend their money and they don't want to be sold products that would suit their grandparents."
A Golden Opportunity for Astute Companies
Of course, the demographic shift is not a peculiarly British affair. According to a recent report on the 'Longevity Revolution' from Bank of America Merrill Lynch:
The 60+ age group is growing from 609mn in 2000 to 1bn in 2020 and to 2bn in 2050
Average wealth for 50+ UK households is £541,000 and £723,000 for age 60-64
As they anticipate having more freedom, 67% of 'Boomers' (55 +) plan to spend more time on their hobbies and interests, such as shopping, travelling, entertaining and socialising. (Source: Nielsen)
A Revolution in Long Term Care
Unfortunately, the retirement renaissance is not all fun, games and holidays. On the other side of the coin we have to face the health, social and economic implications of an ageing population. With the number of people living in care homes in the UK forecast to rise from 450,000 in 2013 to 1.13 million in 2050, and a predicted £30 billion funding gap in the health budget by the end of this decade, there is clearly a need to act now.
This is the premise being addressed through the Long Term Care Revolution, a radical new collaborative venture conceived and made possible by Innovate UK, an independent public body, sponsored by 'BIS', the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, which invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business.
According to Innovate UK (IUK) Chief Executive Iain Gray: "Late life care is often regarded as an economic liability but it can actually be an engine for economic growth. This is an expanding market and we need to radically rethink our approach to long term care provision, providing options that will enable people to live with more dignity and autonomy".
An Engine for Economic Growth
The Long Term Care Revolution aims to encourage and enable innovation in technology, business and service models and in so doing disrupt the institutional model of long term care provision in the UK, thereby achieving a reduction in the financial burden on State and Citizens.
To kick start the Revolution, from April SMEs will be able to apply for a share of at least £4 million unsecured development capital. If you are a director of a company with no experience of public funding competitions, don't let it put you off as this is a very simple process. If your idea stacks up, you could find yourself either leading or participating in one of several groundbreaking new ventures that will launch by this time next year.
IUK can also help grow your project internationally through close ties with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the European Commission, through its Silver Economy initiative, which you can read about here.
If you would like to learn more about getting involved with the Long Term Care Revolution, please write to email@example.com.
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Image: Provided by and used with permission from Selfridges.