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Australian brands must overcome ageism to tap into the “silver economy” and bridge the digital divide

Brands stand to benefit from Baby Boomer consumers, yet marketing tactics still seem to be targeted towards generations with less cash.

Shaping Connections Co Founder and Director, Dr Bernardo Figueiredo and RMIT marketing expert Dr Foula Kopanidis, say Baby Boomers should be the prime target market for brands in a media release by RMIT, yet many ignore the great potential of this consumer with only 5% of advertising expenditure in Australia spent on this demographic.

This not only means a huge chunk of revenue pie is missed but also the opportunity to bridge the digital divide for this important segment.

Older model trending courtesy of Bassike
Image from Inside Retail (Chadwick 2024) feat Bassike’s Resort Uniform 2024 lookbook

“In Australia, there are 5.6 million Baby Boomers commanding a substantial 21.5% slice of the national population." said Dr Kopanidis. “With an average accumulated net worth of $381,100 per person, they own more than half of Australia’s national wealth – and they like to spend it.

Co-design is key to bridge the digital divide

Dr Figueiredo said that addressing ageism in technology requires a paradigm shift in how businesses perceive and cater to the older population which includes recognising them as a viable and valuable market segment.

“Incorporating older individuals in co-design, user experience design and product testing can lead to more inclusive technologies that better cater to a diverse age range, ultimately expanding market reach and relevance." Dr Figueiredo

This was echoed by international trade magazine Inside Retail who agreed that businesses have been distracted riding the Millennial and Gen Z wave and highlighted Australian label Bassike (along with Bonds), as an example of a brand that includes a diverse range of imagery (including models) in their promotional material - from Gen Z through to Baby Boomers.

Furthermore, Inside Retail reiterated what we already know, Baby Boomers are an attractive marketing segment and brands could successfully reach them without disengaging younger consumers.

So watch out Baby Boomers and buckle up for (hopefully) more targeted marketing campaigns that feature things you like, you need and you want!

And for brands that want to know how to engage and interact with Baby Boomers in the digital age - contact Shaping Connections to book in a tailored workshop to learn about how to tap into how the older adult segment use and benefit from digital technology.


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