In focus - Consumers
Old dogs, With the over-50s market embracing
technology more than ever before, Scott
McLaughlin of Clutch takes a look at what’s
making this generation tick, and asks the
question - can your brand keep up?
f you have ever witnessed a dog chase after a moving car, you
may have asked yourself why such a pointless activity seems
totally rational for the dog. Does the dog truly believe that it can
catch the car? If it was in fact successful, what then would the dog
do with the car? Is the car held in such esteem by the dog, or is
it the fear of the unknown that motivates the chase? According to
62 drinks trade
veterinarians it’s the chase itself that is most enticing for the dog. Let’s simplify it a touch and look at some broad and
When we sell our products and brands to the Australian market, is it the yet dominant states of mind among our over 50s.
selling or the market that’s the most important and engaging endeavour?
Are we more in touch with these markets than the dog is with the car, or Just a state of mind
is it the shiny acceleration of consumption that whips us into a frenzy?
Unlike the dog, we know the facts - but do they matter anymore to us than The first and perhaps most interesting will be those with ‘great
it matters to the dog to understand the mechanistic workings of the car? expectations’. These brand discoverers are a discerning and demanding
You have to admit that ‘earth shattering’ facts like: customer expecting that their patronage and purchasing is sought
after, well regarded and indeed respected. Just over 15 per cent
w Just over 40 per cent of the available Australian of Australia’s over 50s think like this, looking to leverage their hard
Liquor market are aged over 50 years earned and copious asset bases for better quality, better health and
w Alcohol incidence declines (slightly) when lifestyles, better experiences and much, much better service. Well
you get older, more so over 65 armed and informed, they will take cues from those in the know,
w More than half of over 50s have internet connections rather than those in the store, and will choose the best brands at
at home (70 per cent of 50-65 year olds) prices that don’t insult ones intelligence, in retail environments that
w Nearly a quarter of Australia’s regular gym satisfy their curiosity and their passion for the finer things in life.
users are over 50 years of age There are those with the ‘family at heart’, which if not in their
w 14 per cent of iPhone users are over 50 living room, will be looking for the occasional treat for themselves in
between a majority of decisions driven by the needs of others. These
…..are fundamentally as useful to us as it is for the dog to consumers are represented by more than 30 per cent of our over
understand the fine outer suburban art of the “hand-brake”. 50s. These Australians will trade off quality for price for themselves,
Recently I was involved with a marketing campaign, where a young and yet will buy more esteemed products destined for the mouths of
loved ones, from whom, they get a lot of their new information. Quite
the value hunter, these consumers will know where they can do better,
and will be periodically enticed by in-store offers that take them north
Just like a 13-year-old wants sunglasses in the value chain. With a general inclination for loyalty it will be the
and a 65-year-old wants a new web cam, whole package that entices them in retail where relationships and
aspiration, expectation and self perception recommendations from sales staff are sure to influence choice.
One other state of mind is that of the “routine seeker”. Making up
are driving brand relationships and demand approximately half of our over 50s this group would associate brand trial
now more than ever. as a risk. Extremely price sensitive, when the brand value “friendship”
is being stretched just a little too much they will feel forced to adjust
their behaviour to better suit their budgets. An extremely loyal brand
consumer, they will greatly value, but not expect to be rewarded for
copywriter depicted people of my vintage (circa 1970), as being their custom. Comparatively not open to trying new things, much of
nostalgically reflective of our bygone era. Rather than putting a down the marketing effort will be lost on this market unless it specifically
payment on my new walking frame, I simply resigned myself to the fact rewards them for doing what they do or buying what they buy normally.
that age, aging or being old was a relative judgment. I remember in the Even then, such effort may be seen in a transactional view as being
early to mid 90s where a mobile phone that didn’t stick out of your jeans wasteful given that demand from this market is relatively static.
pocket was new, and one that did was old, and now, as I grow tired of my
14-month-old 3G Nokia that does everything but wash the car, I realise that The right attitude
the expectations have indeed shifted. If being old is a relative measure or a
state of mind, then ones age is fast becoming a redundant pre-determinant When you think about these three broad descriptions of the
of behaviour, brand usage and consumption. I know that in my case, predominant ways of thinking for today’s over 50s, hopefully you can
both of my parents are in their 60s, one who is busy selecting music for see that whether we want something better, want to serve others or
their own funeral and the other who is focused on improving heart rate want to keep things the way they are – our age is of little importance.
recovery in the next of three spin classes that will be attended this week. Just imagine for a minute how demanding the over 50s market might
We hear all the time how Australia’s older population are staying be in 2039 and tell me again that age or being old in whichever relative
younger older, but what does this mean to us as marketers? Do measure matters at all, or whether its expectations that drive markets.
we now run SMS promotions on well-aged Scotch? Or do we think The question is, as time goes on, will people change their attitudes
we should sponsor a new iPhone App called “60 and Single”? based on their age or will their attitudes and behaviors transcend this
In the end, unless you like missing the mark you are far better measure of time? As the markets “state of mind” gives chase to that
off targeting “states of mind” than you are age. Just like a 13- moving car, does anything matter more than the chase itself? The fact
year-old wants sunglasses and a 65-year-old wants a new web is that neither the car, the dog, nor the age of the dog matters at all;
cam, aspiration, expectation and self perception are driving it’s the motivation of the chase that we need to understand. Today’s so
brand relationships and demand now more than ever. called “old dogs” have new tricks; does your brand keep up with them?
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