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Business Ideas

Business Ideas: Why Being Senior Inclusive Adds Value

Move over millennials! This is how and why you should market to seniors.
Father’s Day celebrations are just around the corner, we can feel it when our mailbox starts filling up with promotional brochures, flyers and even special events catered just for Dads. The only way that retailers and business are able to run campaigns are during special occasions but what if there is an opportunity to look into a specific demographic as we move towards an ageing nation. How often do businesses engage as well as reach out to the matured and elderly? How often are business ideas senior inclusive?

The answer might vary due to industry differences, but what is transparent is as the population ages, there would be an opportunity for businesses to fill in the gap if they were to stay relevant and competitive. Businesses must move towards marketing that subtly appeal to an ageing demographic.

As human beings we need attention, love and care from others no matter which stage of life or what age we are. It seems our worth suddenly plummets when we enter the life stage where society puts the “elderly” tag on us. At best, society in general starts to assume that they know what the elderly need and what they don’t. At worst, it starts to ignore their needs, desires and even forget that they too need people to socialise with, and an environment to interactive with.

We should not exclude the elderly from daily interaction, but include them in social activities or events. Social inclusion plays a big role in enhancing or maintaining our overall wellbeing.

According to United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Social inclusion refers to social integration or social cohesion, representing a vision of “a society for all” in which every individual – each with rights and responsibilities – have an active role to play.

The Generation Game – Catering to Asia’s Future Life Stages” from Mintel revealed:
• That older lifestyles need change and that this often ignored consumer segment presents a lot of opportunities for companies that take the effort to find out the needs of older consumers.

• One of the best things brands can do is to stop ignoring older consumers as a potentially lucrative market in countries across Asia.

• Elderly Asians are increasingly enjoying their leisure time, finding new hobbies or learning new skills, while taking the opportunity to travel more and further afield.

“A society for all” without ignoring the elderly, should be the aim for all the industry players, retailers and advertisers because they will be able to reap “longevity dividend”.

While there is huge scope to work on in fulfilling the demand for products and services that are suited to the elderly needs in Asia, there should be a conscious change of mindset and perception towards the elderly and creating “a society for all”. Individuals, groups and institutions have to be interconnected to create a social system, maintain and enhance the relationship in a harmonious way.

Trends on ageing have shown that the belief whereby age does not create limitations to lifestyle is growing rapidly. Trendsreport.com have stated that this ideal is key to tapping into the elderly market: catering to an ageing demographic by providing comfort, independence and most importantly, the added merit that ageing is no longer a limitation.

In this endeavour, some organisations have taken the big step towards making the change, especially within the social networks considering initiatives are already being undertaken. For example, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur recently launched their Pavilion Silver Société programme, targeting Malaysian who are 55 years old and above. They offer members with leisure experiences, special celebrations and even discounts. Moreover, they’ve even partnered with Managedcare – a one-stop platform to find care services for care needs – to offer selected care services on discount. The social awareness of recognising the elderly as valued members of society with needs of their own is slowly taking root, but we need to be speedier on the uptake.

More Initiatives and programmes – similar to the Pavilion Silver Société – that shines the spotlight on the elderly to engage them will go a long way in weeding out their social exclusion from society and ultimately, enable them to live the lifestyle they wish to.

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