Over 60’s Women: The Innovation Opportunity [Insight Video]

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They are female, wealthy and active. And they are an expanding demographic with disposable income to burn. Already making up over 10% of the population, the cohort of Boomer women over 60 is set to grow by 50% in the next couple of decades.

And yet the consumer packaged goods industry continues largely to ignore this rich gold seam in the population, choosing instead to fetishise an increasingly cash-strapped youth and young family demographic. Innovating for female Boomers may not be sexy, but it is smart.  Lots of people with lots of money and who not getting lots of love from the FMCG industry should signal lots of opportunity.

The problem is that innovation for this demographic tends to miss the mark – largely because it is based on stereotypes, outdated preconceptions and misplaced assumptions. Take Gerber, the baby food manufacturer that decided simply to repackage its baby food for seniors.  Is it any wonder the ‘innovation’ failed?

Part of the problem is that we tend to lump women with wrinkles into one grey basket, rather than seek to identify discrete needs based on life-stage (empty-nesters, grandparents, singletons) and life-style (from “healthy hermits”and “healthy indulgers” to “ailing outgoers” and “frail reclusives”).  This means we miss unmet needs and the opportunities to solve problems at a profit.

At Brand Genetics, we think many consumer brands could profit from focusing innovation on the changing and differentiated needs for various groups of over-60’s women.  Think Unilever, and how it turned around its margarine business with its cholesterol lowering Proactiv spread.  Or Twettle, the auto-tweeting Kettle, that reassures loved ones when it automatically sends out a tweet when the kettle is switched on in the morning.

And we believe the smart way to innovate for Over 60’s women is to innovate with over 60’s women themselves, particularly aspirational and inspirational members of this demographic. The only way to avoid the stereotypes, outdated preconceptions and misplaced assumptions is to co-create with over 60’s women, not innovate for them. So checkout our Brand Genetics insight video above, put together by Rachel and Nicole, and start planning your next “Boomer Co-creation” initiative today.



Paul Marsden

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