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The multi-trillion-dollar market that’s hiding in plain sight

By Eric Wagatha

Gen Z and Millennials garner a lot of attention – pioneers of the latest tech and the driving force behind emerging trends. While these consumers do hold a strong social and cultural influence, 50+ consumers are often overlooked. Offering a breadth of life experiences, these consumers are financially secure, live active lives, and are looking to spend money on brands they trust. 

In this overview, experts from Consumer Life debunk some common myths to help you tap into a vibrant market with strong potential.  

For a deeper dive, join our upcoming webinar Connecting with Today’s 50+ Consumer, where our experts will help you unlock the power of a 3 trillion-dollar market.

Content

How they live

These consumers have spent their lives working, saving, and actively contributing to the economy – but are not always prioritized by brands. Common stereotypes around inactivity, isolation, and declining health might prompt some to discount this group, but the reality is:

  • Activity does not decline with age – it simply changes. Older adults take part in a host of activities, both at home and away
  • These adults often live with other people and report lower-than-average levels of loneliness
  • Almost 9 of 10 claim that good health is foundational to a good life. This emphasis leads the majority to to claim good to excellent health.  Even as some report poor health with rising age, this number remains small. While physical health may decline with aging, older adults are less likely to report mental health issues 

The 50+ mindset

Typically, these consumers are viewed as traditional, set in their ways, and anti-change. However, it is simply the fact that older adults feel less pressure to conform or constrained by any social expectations.  

While this group of the population often adopt a ‘go with the flow’ attitude, it may require some out-of-the-box thinking to capture their attention. 

Consider: While 50+ consumers are keen to acquire knowledge, 3 in 4 do agree that younger people are more open to new ideas. 

50+ Mindset

But older consumers shop less – it is impossible to connect

Myth! These consumers make plenty of purchases but are less likely to express purchase intent or actively seek the latest hot commodity. They will usually replace things like devices or home appliances as needed. 

These adults value authenticity and will gravitate toward brands where they feel a connection. In fact, I only buy products or services from a trusted brand ranks #14 out of 43 life attitudes for this market.  

Older Consumers Shopping

Tech is a big focus for us, but aren’t these consumers tech averse?

Not exactly – while some are less enthused about technology, few are fearful. Truth be told; the pandemic, lockdown, and a post-COVID world have shown older consumers are narrowing the tech gap. 50+ consumers are confident and optimistic about technology and where it’s headed.  

Our research shows that as they play catch-up on tech, they are also maintaining healthy separation, finding it less difficult than younger generations to take a break – and they’re more cognizant of what happens when technology is abused.  

Compared to those <50, this group care more about the following:

  • Fraudulent use of personal information (+21 pts)  
  • Pervasiveness of fake news online (+14 pts)  
  • Jeopardizing privacy (+14 pts)  
  • Cyberbullying (+8 pts)

To win, do not discount this key segment

The 50+ market is a thriving one where opportunity lies. While younger generations may be shaping the future, there is a 3 trillion-dollar market waiting right now. Simply understand and respect the unique needs of this group 

To learn more, register for our upcoming webinar, Connecting with Today’s 50+ Consumer