The Ageist Revolution!

The population of the UK at 30 June 2017 exceeded 66 million people (66,040,229), an increase of 392,000 people since mid-2016.  This growth rate (0.6%) is the lowest since mid-2004, as a result of greatly reduced birth rate (UK mid year estimate 2017, ONS).

Nearly 16 million UK residents were aged 60 years and over in mid-2017, or 24% of the population.  That is 1 in 4 people of this country are over 60!  If you take that down to the over 50’s there are nearly 25 million UK residents or 37% of the population.  That is approximately 1 in 3 people in the UK are over 50! (UK mid year estimate 2017, ONS)

one in four

According to an article by the Nationwide Building Society,  over 60’s have a disposable income of approximately £66 Billion per annum.  This is defined as income remaining after deduction of taxes (including Council Taxes) and social security charges, available to be spent or saved as one wishes.

As most over 60’s probably own their own property, this disposable income can be used for a far greater range of social pleasures and pursuits.  Although the disposable income of the 18-30 somethings may be greater or similar, the cost of rent or mortgage and raising a young family can reduce their social and pursuit expenditure to a very small amount.

Remember this was 18 months ago, the differential between the over 60’s and the 18-30 somethings continues to grow.  This will only continue for many years to come as birth rate drops and we are living longer and healthier lives.

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So why is this so important?

Take a look at this slide show, all the images come from current equipment manufacturers or retailers websites or maildrops.  Look closely at the images, in particular the models used.

 

 

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Every single company is targeting the 20/30 somethings, with virtually no regard for the over 50’s or 60’s.

This  does not make economic sense, the manufactures are under the illusion that they are cornering the available market.  The result is that they are loosing sales because many older people feel intimidated and alienated by the advertising.  They feel that they cannot wear the proper equipment because it is meant for youngsters.

The manufacturers and retailers have got to wake up to the reality that there is a huge untapped and waiting market.  They have to encompass Social Inclusion in their marketing campaigns, and I don’t mean just pay ‘lip service’ to it.  With the current aging trend, if they fail to get the oldies onboard they just as well pack up and go home.

This is where I ‘step up to the plate’ and put my ‘money where my mouth is’.  This years project for GlynGetoutside and Hill-Walking For The Over 60’s is to start a campaign of lobbying and encouraging the manufacturers and retailers to embrace this new market.  It will take time – photo shoots are, at least, 6 months ahead of publication, but we will succeed.

I am delighted to say that three companies have already ‘seen the light’ and are embracing the older age group.  I take my hat off to the Ordnance Survey and in particularly OS Leisure for making several 50/60 somethings GetOutside brand Champions.  The same goes for Trekmates, who even have me plastered over the front page of their website.  The third company I commend is Pure Hydration, from the moment I mentioned my campaign that jumped in with both feet and have already started putting the word around.

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So, if these three companies can see the light, then hopefully the rest will follow over the coming year.  Very soon the social media campaign starts along with the initial letters to all Marketing Directors and the media.  It will not be as easy as ‘light the blue torch paper and stand clear’, there will be opposition to change, there always is.  But most Marketing Directors, of any value, will know that change is important for survival in the retail world.

So next time you are in one of the High Street Adventure Outlets, ask them “why are there no models over 30 in your adverts”, together we can change the world (well a small part of it at least).

Let the Ageist Revolution commence!

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