Are Brands Alive to the Gen S Potential?

24 Nov,2021

 

By Sanjeev Kotnala

 

Sanjeev KotnalaBrands have rarely targeted senior citizens, the Generation S. For some categories, they would be a perfect target and make a difference. An article in Ad Age refers to the possibility that 70+ senior audiences can be gamechangers for brands. The situation in India is not different. India is home to the second largest ageing population in the world. By 2025, India’s 50-plus population (Generation S) is estimated to be between 17.5 in 2030 and 30 crore in 2050, outnumbering the under-15 age group and almost equalling the United States population.

 

This Generation S can be categorised as 50-60 pre-retirement, 60-70 after retirement and 70-plus as the extended retirement segment. In my brand and marketing consultant avatar in the last seven years, I have yet to see a purposeful objective psychographic study of this segment, which is estimated to be worth Rs 43,000 crore.

 

As the Covid relaxations were announced, Mr Bhist, an ex-army person in Uttarakhand, started planning a vacation abroad. Mt Talegaonkar, staying in Pune wanting a peaceful life and pursuing his religious move, started looking for a house near Shirdi. Mrs Agarwal was planning her daughter’s wedding and scanning the jewellery brands. Mrs Chandola, a pensioner who took to digital late in her life, now consumes OTT more than television and plans to buy the new iPhone. Mr Goswami decided to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary in style at a destination in Rajasthan and is planning to ultimately buy the diamond he promised and never gave to his wife. Mr Biswas, an ex-cricketer, has started investing in coaching young sportsperson, runs an online yoga class, and takes online education. A group of young senior bikers are planning a Manali-Leh trip. They are searching for someone who could help them with it. Mr Iyer in Bengaluru with kids abroad is in search of proper housing with senior care.

 

Having lived their lives saving for the future and avoiding the EMI traps to build an after-retirement life, the senior population now wants to live their lives purposefully. And this 60-plus senior segment is willing to spend. They are the ones who have set up their life with investments and are already out of the instalment and loan trap. Their children are well-settled, and the seniors are mostly living in an empty nest. Almost 17% of these elderlies are living independently. They have time and will to define what they want for the rest of their life.

 

They are adapting fast to the changes in the social structure, technology and are more active. Having saved through their working life, they not only have money but are money and time-wise. They have dedicated their lives to their children, and now their spirit of adventure is finding new avenues to express.

 

As per the senior consumer market study of September 2019 by CII, the potential value of the senior consumer market in India is enormous. Home care: 1,165 crore, Diagnostic: ~5 crore, entertainment 1,086 crore, tours and travel 26,004 crore, e-commerce lifestyle products – 39,488 crore, groceries 64,826 crore and so on for health and life insurance, financial services, medical products and housing- some 2,40,000 units. The report may have been tabled in 2019, but it remains relevant with the brands not awakening to this reality.

 

The brands should consider this widely ignored segment. They need a different approach than the brand communication primarily targeted at youngsters or at the 35-45 age bracket. These are adults who have seen all the possible ups and downs in their life. They are thus mature and sensitive to their bodies and future life. Their emotional needs addressing potential barriers ad fears are different.

 

There is every indication that this senior consumer market will grow and is up for grabs. But, are the brands sensitive to their needs and creating products and services especially targeting them. Maybe it is time the brands wake up to address this largely untapped market.

 

 

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