Connecting with the Silver Generation: Strategies for Meaningful Engagement
While Millennials and Gen Z often take the spotlight in discussions and studies, it's essential to recognise the growing influence of the older population - creating campaigns, products and conversations that reflect and cater to their needs.
All too often, the silver generation is creatively ignored, their needs overlooked in favour of younger audiences. Yet, they’re a crucial demographic to consider. Doing so not only helps brands combat discrimination but also allows them to meet the needs – and unlock the potential – of this important demographic.
In truth, Baby Boomers, projected to contribute 63p in every pound spent in the UK economy by the end of 2024 (The Guardian, 2020), hold significant spending power that deserves our attention.
It’s important that the branding and marketing campaigns we create reflect the needs of every generation, including older adults who not only hold substantial spending power but also deserve representation and understanding.
Despite often being sidelined, individuals in the 57 to 75 age bracket represent an untapped and undervalued market that branding and marketing experts should prioritise.
To authentically connect with this demographic, it’s vital to comprehend their distinctive behaviours, preferences, needs and desires, recognising how – and why – these differ from other generations. Here are essential factors to consider when developing campaigns that genuinely resonate with older adults:
Brand Messaging. Older generations resonate more with brand messaging that emphasises product longevity and quality. While many fashion brands target millennials, Gucci has successfully recognised the loyalty and appreciation for quality among older persons, making them ideal customers for luxury items.
Touchpoints. Understanding the best channels for connecting with your audience is vital. Google (2021) estimates that 86% of older adults spend at least six hours a day online and own five devices on average. While digital adoption is rising, the preferences of consumers aged 65+ differ from younger generations. Instead of platforms like TikTok and Instagram, they gravitate towards Facebook and YouTube. Targeted messaging across the right platforms is key to building awareness and consideration.
Customer Insights. Invest in data and insights rather than outdated assumptions and hunches to better understand your consumers. Ensure diverse opinions are considered across age groups for broad appeal, especially when conducting user testing.
Age-inclusive representation. Be sure to incorporate age-inclusive representation in your advertising. When consumers can visualise themselves positively using your product or service, they are more likely to connect with and buy into your brand. Explore examples of brands excelling in tackling ageism.
Values. Acknowledge that values evolve with age. Adapt your messaging to reflect the altruistic nature, decreased susceptibility to hyperbole, and increased interest in factual information commonly associated with the older demographic.
Inclusive branding matters. Let’s be sure to creatively represent and cater to all audiences, ensuring everyone feels seen, valued and included.