An Obsession with Age
The world obsesses over your age today! Believe it or not, your age is of much greater consequence to retailers and marketers today, than perhaps to yourself. As you go about your life, blissfully unaware of that occasional strand of grey or the hint of a wrinkle on your visage, marketers are queuing up to let you know of products and services that they have tailor-made just for you, and help you ease into maturity. Traditionally, age has been brought into reckoning, when financial products and health services are sold to consumers. Financial products like mutual funds, pension and superannuation schemes, have stressed on the financial needs that you are likely to have, as you grow older, and encourage you to start saving early and plan wiser. And the health sector has marketed a range of services designed to help you through with aging and the associated medical needs. Today, however, things are far different. Marketers selling everything from clothing to nutritional beverages and residential projects are emphasising on your needs changing with age. They urge you to act ahead and fight the effects of age, and extend your experience of staying young for longer periods. The cosmetic industry in particular has been riding on age as a marketing tool, significantly. While products are being designed to help restore, rejuvenate and preserve you skin and specific facial areas, the once feminine domain, has now actively embraced the cosmetic needs of the aging man as well. Evidently, older and maturing adults are emerging as an attractive market for businesses today. Whether they desire to stay young longer, or graciously experience the joys of maturity, products are being designed exclusively around their needs. Aside from products, retailers are even designing their in-store shopping experiences, keeping the older customer in mind. Discount-retailers like Wal-Mart employ older adults in their stores to greet and welcome customers. In India our population is still much younger, as compared with most other countries. However in the next 20 years, we will witness a significant rise in the population of adults over 55. With greater disposable incomes, nuclear family lifestyles and a significantly higher life expectancy, older adults will constitute an important consumer group. Their demand for products and services customised around their needs will help open a very large market for businesses. Little wonder, retailers are cheering out for your next birthday!! About the author: Lakshmipriya Somasundaram is a Contributing Editor for TradeBriefs. She can be reached at lpsom@hotmail.com.

Page 752 of 754