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The reality is that the population is aging, we are living in aging societies. Some data indicate that each day of the human being’s existence life is extended by 5 hours and, at this rate, it can be expected that the life expectancy of today’s children will be 100 years. By the middle of this century, one in three people in Spain will be over 65 years old. We will be the oldest country in the world in terms of population.

However, it should be noted that our biological age (the age of our organs and cells) has camouflaged chronological age (the date we were born) by about 10 years. This means that, although older by age, we are younger inside and out, compared to previous generations.

During the last century in our society, brands have extolled youth and beauty, to the detriment of the passage of time and old age. Mature people, seniors, silvers or any other euphemism that tries to camouflage the poorly accepted passage of time, have been the great forgotten ones of brands. But recent actions such as “I’m older, but I’m not an idiot” by Carlos San Juan, which gathered more than 600,000 signatures to get them to be served at the bank during reasonable hours, highlight the mistake of turning their backs on an entire generation that, on the other hand, represents the group with the greatest growth in the coming years.

According to recent studies (Longevity & Retirement Income Solutions), seniors aged 55 and over own just over 66% of the country’s net wealth. That’s no small feat. They form the segment with the highest purchasing power at the moment. They are present in half of the country’s homes and represent 56% of the FMCG market in Spain. At the European level, they control 70% of the wealth. This is too large a population to ignore.

A Matter of Generations

The so-called Silver Economy requires a lively outlook, which understands a latent reality, where the over-55s today are over-65 tomorrow and where all business sectors fit.

  • The Silent Generation -Silents (1925-1944). Born during a tumultuous period in history, she grew up in the midst of wars and lived through the crash of the markets in the 1930s. They get their name from Time magazine, due to their resignation and silence about the way they saw the events of the time unfold.
    Their desire for financial security cultivated over the years has led them to constantly look for organizations with good pensions and retirement plans. This explains why they are the healthiest, most affluent generation of seniors who have ever lived. In general, they tend to follow the rules, as this has historically worked well for them.
    The key to developing a long-lasting relationship with consumers in this age group is to earn their trust. They value authenticity and loyalty, which means that once you can truly demonstrate to them the value of your brand, you’ve usually gained a new customer.
    The silent generation does not want to be seen as fragile, incapable, or dependent. Instead, they want it to be seen that they have a lot left to live and prefer that brands accompany them by contributing what brings them a better life.
    You should prioritize face-to-face experiences with them, the vast majority are still more comfortable in physical environments. However, a growing number are making the leap into technology, with 45% of the over-65 age group saying they engage with social media.
  • Baby Boomers (1945-1964). The famous Baby Boomers were named for the massive influx of births in the years after World War II. Interestingly, this age group can be divided into two smaller subgroups: the altruistic rebels of the ’60s-’70s and the yuppies of the ’70s and ’80s. Both subgroups grew up in the heyday of classic rock and electric ballads. They helped foster an era of free love and took action with local activism, pursuing a strong will to establish common values and respect for the good of humanity as a whole.
    While the Silents considered a happy retirement to be lounging in the sun, the Boomers They want to be able to enjoy life after their children have left home. They can be better reached through multi-channel strategies. While they are still somewhat influenced by traditional print media, without being digital natives they have adopted and implemented the technologies in their lives. For them, the internet has become the perfect tool to find information, even above television and the press. Internet users over the age of 50 have almost doubled their use of social media in the last year and use the internet to find out about future purchases, find discounts and check the news.
    The aspects that this generation values most are honesty, contribution to the environment, responsibility, innovation, differentiation and brand recognition. In addition, creating communities around the brand and maintaining communication with an optimistic, energetic and active tone are traits that this generation values positively.
    The Baby Boomers They prefer to shop online from their computers rather than from their phones. This is because they treat every purchase as a commitment and are much more willing to read the fine print to thoroughly understand all the details before making a transaction. And, of course, it’s much easier to do all this reading on a computer than on a small mobile phone screen. For this reason, rather than boosting impulse buying, brands need to put more effort into proving that they are superior and that what they offer is worthwhile.

 

Seniors are not a monolithic group, they are represented by a wide age period and there are large differences between the ages of 55 and 85. Age does matter, although stereotypes don’t appeal to anyone. Brands must focus on their core values, build behaviors, and convey emotional factors that really connect with their audience. It is a generation that is increasingly demanding of brands. It is not enough for them to be known, they have to be real, authentic, transparent and honest with their values and their promises. The key is to find and activate their own insights that appeal to life experiences with real meaning for them.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward