The DNA of the older consumer

The Dutch translation of the book Gray Ocean Strategy: How to exploit the biggest market ever with AgeWise marketing will be published in June. About the DNA of the older consumer based on scientific and practical research with the seven soft spots of the older consumer and the seven Gray Ocean marketing strategies. With a case for each soft spot, both in the book and here in the column.

Softspot 3: people

See and be seen. Every person, young and old, needs contact, to be a valued member of a community. However, aging reduces the social network. We no longer see colleagues at work, family members die. But it also reduces because older people spend less time on people they actually say less. People do not go out quickly to meet completely new people, but they are interested in getting to know like-minded people through the social structures they already have. In short, more need for time with family and close friends instead of vague acquaintances.

In addition to the need to continue meeting others, there is also more time for this. After the last child leaves home, there will be more time for yourself, for each other and for friends.

Similarly for old friends. Partly due to the need for nostalgia and recalling good memories, old friends often come back into the picture. The website is a good example of this. The 45 to 55 age group is one of the main visitors to this site.

From “empty nest” to “refilled nest”. People want to keep meeting people because people are simply a social being. How can I do something with this as marketers? The marketing implication is that you have to add a face, a voice, a smile wherever possible in your customer journey.

In a campaign, the consequence for marketing communication is preferably not to show an older consumer alone. Show him or her together with others and preferably together with other generations. This gives an impression that the elderly think this is important: by meeting others, they are still at the center of society.

And important to humanize your brand and give it a face. A very good example is how Albert Heijn showed Mister van Dalen as the face of AH in the campaigns, something that particularly appeals to older consumers. Have a look?

Case: Van der Valk

The success of Van der Valk: made big by the older consumer

The older consumer actually made Van der Valk great. As many as four thousand guests can enjoy a delicious and atmospheric Christmas dinner at a Van der Valk hotel in their area every year. About fifty Van der Valk restaurants spread across the country cater for these dinners. In this way, the elderly meet others from their environment. For example, together with the National Elderly Fund, Van der Valk tries not only to give older guests a great evening, but also to make contacts or even make friends.

As Ruud van der Valk, director van der Valk Houten puts it: “People, well, that’s the essence of hospitality. I think Van der Valk’s strength lies in the following: Doing good, what you have always done well. So very personal service. Despite the modernization of new technologies such as mobile check-in, it is still possible to check in personally at the desk with an extensive and quiet explanation of what is possible in the hotel and the surrounding area. Especially with the older consumer that we have known for years, personal attention is a precondition. ”

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