Missing Opportunities

We recently came across some interesting research conducted by Marks & Spencer in the UK. As reported by WGSN, Marks & Spencer has discovered that its 40+ shoppers, while being very loyal, are actually frustrated by the lack of clothes that are specifically designed and made to satisfy their needs. They found that, of this boomer generation in the UK:

  • Nine out of 10 women over 50 believe they are not the 50-year-old their mother was.
  • Eight out of 10 women take pride in sharing their age.
  • Only 3% of women over 50 would describe themselves as over the hill.
  • 82% of women think turning 50 shouldn’t be a reason to stop having long hair.
  • 98% of women over 50 still wear makeup and 96% still enjoy wearing a pair of killer heels.
  • Almost nine out of 10 (87%) of them believe they can still flaunt cleavage.

Being the successful retailer they are, Marks & Spencer have developed a new line of women’s wear, called Portfolio, that is designed specifically for the over-40 shopper. We would expect to see more of this kind of audience understanding and specific development coming through from retailers in the future. It is definitely a sign of things to come.

It’s reasonable to assume that, as the shifting demographic makeup of all markets morphs to the older age cohorts, products and services developed for those shoppers (as opposed to the traditional mentality of designing products for the 18-to-35-year-olds) will accelerate. Is your product or service going to maintain relevance to aging populations? Is it time to look at how your product is servicing the needs of the audience that will make it a success tomorrow?