28 January 2013

Marketing to the Ageing Consumer

New book, a good one:

Marketing to the Ageing Consumer
The Secrets to Building an Age-Friendly Business
By Dick Stroud and Kim Walker

As the populations of Europe and the US, soon to be followed by China, grow older, it is vital that marketers understand the effects of physiological ageing and their impact on marketing.

imageDick and Kim have put together a concise, brimming-with-info overview of what people 50-70+ are and will be experiencing physically and psychologically (with a larger nod to the former) – and why this knowledge is critical to companies, organizations, governments.

imageIt’s an easy though at times startling read, backed up with clear, to the point  graphs and charts (even I could comprehend most of them). 

The message: Age-Friendly doesn’t begin and end with advertising and marketing. The initial product development, packaging, and point-of-purchase experience is likewise crucial and often ignored.

An example not in the book: Six or so years ago,  we were overwhelmed by a stunning international campaign targeting 50+ women with a line of beauty products – skin and face moisturizers, a shampoo, conditioner, etc.  Truly revolutionary advertising. The bottles flew off the shelves.

But something happened at home. The product containers were pretty much the same – a murky maroon with flaky white fonts, leading and kerning so bunched that for older eyes all was a blur. Women would reach for a specific bottle in the bath or at the vanity, and had to grab their glasses to read the label. Try that in the shower.

A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad.
Bill Bernbach

But it wasn’t the product, it was the  packaging that held back this beauty line from universal, everlasting success.

Mr. Stroud and Mr. Walker address similar issues in their book.

Introduction and Chapter Selections (PDF)

Publisher’s Page

Age-Friendly Web Site

Congrats on this, Gents.