It's a Numbers Game

It is no longer a secret that the demographic change is in full swing. In Western countries, today’s women and men get to live, on average, 86 and 81 years. The economy already feels the impacts of this increase in life expectancy which has prompted the European Union to start a project called “Best Agers” – an initiative that aims to leverage the experiences and expertise of the 55-year-olds and over for the economic and social benefit of us all.   

Politically and culturally speaking, those “Best Agers” are already a thing. But what about the retail industry: how do they perceive the age group 55 plus? Do you know to what extent your turnover is impacted by the highly active leisure lifestyle of many best agers?Do you know to what extent the highly active leisure lifestyle of many best agers impacts your turnover? Or do you presume that, as people get older, their curiosity for innovations and testing, their desire to stay connected with others fade? Or maybe you see the age group 55 plus only as another target market with substantial buying power? 

Going off my own interactions with “Best Agers” – in my family, as business partners and colleagues – I can safely say that they don’t want to be defined by their age, to begin with. Because as modern as the title “Best Agers” may sound, it is still just a better-sounding word for “seniors.” And when we drop this word, we don’t think of people who actively pursue their interests in innovation, travel and sports. Instead, what comes to mind are mobile phones for seniors with extra large buttons or day trips to nearby spa retreats.  

But the reality is that “Best Agers” are often still a very active part of the workforce. Some of them even start their own companies, with decades of experience to back them up. They are part of our society and want to be seen and treated as such. We don’t need new communication strategies or “age-appropriate” products that are organized on the other side of the store, far away from innovation and technology. No. It’s about doing things together; it’s about belonging – no matter which date of birth your ID card shows.