Old Generation Branding
If you visit some gyms in your city, quite early in the morning, the pool might be filled with smiley faces and some wrinkles, not necessarily caused by long periods in the water. The hydro gymnastics class, very healthy for our body, is usually filled with men and women with already many life stories to share. They’re probably parents or great parents, enjoying their better age by doing casual chores, like groceries, gardening, reading or watching TV. Some of them are quite more active, taking care of a family business or telling surprising stories from their day by day life.
They are here, being part of our lives, with so much to talk about.
Are we listening?
Nowadays all we seem to be able to talk is about Millennials. Or the Centennials. Or maybe, the X Generation, formed by people who are still making important decisions and still making the wheel of economy go round. The X Generation is the Gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials, who apparently, could not show to the world something spectacular enough to deserve their own nickname… That’s not very fair.
Times like these, at the age of anxiety, our agendas are full and our minds are being taught to think and worry about the future. The future shoppers, the future decision makers, the ones who will have the power and attitude to change our world, with different values or by being fully connected through technological applications.
So, paying attention to other and older generations that helped build our world as we know it, our present, makes us feel we are looking
at a rear-view mirror.
Is not hard to grasp companies strategies being more focused on what’s coming. As a Branding Consultant, I can share that many brands are focused on plans for 2020 or 2025. There are banks thinking about a world without agencies. There are tire companies thinking about a world without wheels. Most common researches are usually focusing on getting behaviour perceptions on young adults, the so called YONK, “Young no kids”, or middle age adults. Big data for some brand categories are only studying people up to 49 years old. Maybe, with some luck, up to 55. Many categories are using social media focusing on the young, while they are still growing up, sharing still a rather small power of purchase.
The ad on the picture sells corn in a can to millennials. Nothing wrong with that, its a very cute ad. However, my mom, frequent Facebook user, wise and gifted cooker, was left out. Is this our fate? Keep putting aside people who also matter, leaving the hydro-gym lovers forgotten in the pool?
We seem to be putting our bets with great effort on what’s to come. But aren’t we forgetting to ‘carpe diem’? To enjoy our present, or at least, to take into account our past who is still pretty much ‘alive and kicking’?
A great share of people from X generation, baby boomers and the gentle smiley faces in the pool every morning, have had already a lifetime of savings and levels of culture enough to make any brand’s eyes glow. They have an interesting share of wallet, they make decisions. Plus, they have great connections. And let’s not forget: they still have dreams. Older generations still need the sense of belonging and connection. We need to pay attention to them.
Most importantly, we need to help them “pop the bubble” they are in, in terms of technology. One of the great barriers is the fact that those people and potential consumers, were born before the invention of internet.
John Naisbitt wrote a book in 1982 which remains more alive than ever. He claims we need to balance technology with proximity and human contact. In every age. High tech needs to meet High Touch.
If we apply such philosophy to brand building, in every generation, Marketing leaders should be spending their time to focus on opening ways for other ages to connect to their offers, by letting them feel more comfortable in a technological universe.
It’s a strategy that not so many companies are considering, although it would be a good idea, since if we take a closer look on age pyramids around the globe, the bases are getting thinner, while tops are getting wider. In a short period of time, we might have to consider changing the name from pyramids to squares.
So is the right time to ask yourself:
Is the Brand you represent, putting effort on past generations?