The concept of aging is undergoing a huge cultural and economic shift in how it's viewed and experienced. The silver generation, a distinct consumer class composed of people who will be 50 or older in ten years' time, is responsible for influencing many of these changes.
Businesses will have to take a holistic approach to meet the unique physical and aspirational needs of this group. To do so effectively, it’s important to understand what drives them and how brands can evolve to close the gaps in messaging and product development.
What Drives the Silver Generation
The Asia-Pacific region’s aging market value is estimated to hit US$4.56 trillion by the year 2025, marking an increase of 43% from US$3.2 trillion in 2020. Approximately one-third of the silver generation is expected to contribute 52% of the total consumer expenditure in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030.
Silver generation consumers will have accumulated wealth and assets during their years of active employment and will use these to fund their post-retirement lifestyles. They may receive pensions, giving them much more disposable income than their younger cohorts.
Their lifetime of experience will also provide them with elevated expectations as consumers. While they'll be willing to spend more for a higher quality of life, they'll continue to exercise prudence, only investing if they see genuine value in what’s being offered.
This generation will be eager to learn and adapt to trends. Contrary to popular belief, they tend to embrace digital tools, albeit with some reservations regarding data security and privacy. However, they'll continue to show a preference for offline methods of connecting with brands — like making personal visits to the bank — for more personalized experiences.
Patient Engagement and Travel Experiences Done Right
Healthcare features prominently in the growing range of products and services catering to the silver economy experience. The travel, housing, transportation, and food industries are other sectors that add to this expansion.
A recent study conducted by Accenture indicates that 53% of people over 65 years of age use health management technology at least a few times a month. The study highlights that the adoption of digital channels (wearables, tablets, mobile phones, smartphones, digital video, social media, and the internet) by older adults “rivals that of younger people and sometimes exceeds it.”
Singapore has developed several initiatives to engage its silver generation and give them more control over their health and healthcare. The Smart Health Video Consultation tool, for instance, gives patients the ability to talk to their care team remotely through video conferencing. This is a valuable service for older adults who need immediate care but find in-person visits difficult to manage.
Such initiatives increase patient engagement with digital tools while enhancing the patient experience for the older population.
Meanwhile, travel agencies in China are making concerted efforts to engage the older population — who make up 46% of outbound tourists — through tailor-made experiences. China has one the youngest aging populations in the world with an average retirement age of 60 for men and 55 for women.
Chinese travel agencies have been developing custom itineraries such as Mom and Dad Relaxation Tours for silver customers that adapt to their special requirements. These tours are less taxing in terms of scheduling and transportation and have trustworthy tour guides who can be relied upon to care for their needs. These packages also consider that older people prefer premium customer service and tour mates in a similar age group.
How Brands Should Cater to these Consumers
The silver generation will increasingly assert its needs, wants, and aspirations over the next decade. Consumers in this group will want to stay agile and adaptable for as long as possible. They will be willing to learn new ways of doing things, adopt digital technology, and spend on leisure pursuits to maintain a sustainable quality of life.
To engage the consumers of this generation and build a new revenue channel, brands will need to use a three-pronged approach:
- Empower through education and information
- Create trustworthy product and service experiences both online and offline
- Provide assistance in product and service experiences that will support the silver consumers' preference to "age in place"
For more insights into the silver generation and how global businesses must prepare themselves to adapt to their physical and aspirational needs, download our white paper — APAC, The Future Consumer.