THAILAND - Many people now continue working well after the age of 60 and extend their careers through to their 70s - usually in an advisory capacity - yet most products, marketing and advertising materials have not been adjusted to attract this population segment, which has relatively high purchasing power.
Freed from the burden of raising their family, they seek products and services that communicate directly to their personal needs.
Although the elderly do not use products that are significantly different from those purchased by people in their prime working years, the physical limitations of the elderly impose additional requirements that determine which products they choose and use.
For instance, attracting older consumers can be as simple as using larger, easier-to-read fonts on product labels, and indicating the product's attributes in detail. Many people may have heard of the low-cost mobile handset nicknamed the amah ("grandmother"), which features large numbers on its display and has sold particularly well among the elderly.
Besides addressing limitations related to their eyesight, the muscles and bones of this age group generally function less efficiently than for other segments of the population. That is why paying attention to the way residences and even supermarkets are designed to address their physical constraints will win their custom.
To make it easier for the elderly to walk around, attention should be paid to areas such as the gradients of walkways and reducing multi-level spaces on the same floor. It is also a good idea to incorporate more sturdy handrails at appropriate heights where they are needed.
In places that require the elderly to walk considerable distances, designated places to sit and rest should be created at regular intervals. These spaces can even be transformed into a business opportunity with a cafe or bakery.
Paying attention to these small details will allow businesses to sell considerably more just by investing a little more in the production process.
One factor which distinguishes the elderly today from previous generations is their receptiveness to new products and ideas. This can be seen in their ability to use technology in the form of smartphones and applications in various media.
This widespread access allows them to pick up news from more sources than ever before, and makes them open to direct communications from marketers whose products meet their needs.
Moreover, as these senior citizens are living in an era where people fight all signs of ageing through various means, this translates to their ongoing effort to take good care of themselves so that they remain strong and healthy.