Matthew Crabbe
Feb 4, 2013

Five things you need to know about marketing to silver-haired consumers in China

China’s population is rapidly aging; fulfilling the hopes and plans of older people is becoming a significant marketing opportunity for companies operating in China. Matthew Crabbe, research director for Asia-Pacific at Mintel, highlights five key factors affecting how older people consume from the global consumer research company's new report on elderly consumers in China.

Crabbe: marketers can promote positive ideas about old age
Crabbe: marketers can promote positive ideas about old age

1 Do not ignore older consumers

The China National Committee on Ageing estimates that by 2015 there will be some 200 million Chinese people over the age of 60, growing to 300 million by 2030. The elderly market cannot therefore be ignored by companies operating in China. 

Companies quick to adapt products and services to meet the needs of older consumers can derive an advantage in developing opportunities in the market. But they need to understand what motivates older people, and how that shapes the way they consume.

2 Security, familiarity and tranquillity

Sixty-three per cent of Chinese retirees surveyed during independent research conducted by Mintel is the strength of concern about illness, healthcare costs (38 per cent), as well as planning for financial and housing security.

These personal security issues strongly shape the way older people consume. Marketing messages focusing on how products or services provide security, familiarity or peace-of-mind will chime well.

3 Sensitivity to their needs

Growing old comes with its own challenges and needs. Increasingly, products and services that present specific benefits for older people, such as preserving health or coping with frailty are finding success in China.

Mintel has also seen increasing numbers of brands broaching sensitive social and health issues that relate to the elderly in China to provide help where needed.

Developing such a social interaction with older consumers is becoming increasingly important in building brand relevance and to stand out from the mass of competing brands in China.

4 Keeping healthy, active and entertained

More positively, Chinese retirees show a strong propensity for keeping active and entertained, and have more money to spend. They are spending more on memories and experiences rather than just possessions.

They are travelling more, taking up hobbies and even starting new careers. Their positive drive to enjoy their retirement presents opportunities to market products and services that fit in with an active lifestyle.

5 Celebrating old age

Much of the media in China’s, like elsewhere, has tended to fixate on youth, luxury and glamour, but in a rapidly aging society marketers can take the initiative to promote more positive ideas about old age, designed to suit their life-stage.

We are already seeing more advertising in China using images of elderly people having fun. Brands in China that celebrate the elderly have the opportunity to stand out from their competitors and enjoy a strong presence in a rapidly growing market.



Campaign China

Related Articles

Just Published

5 hours ago

Shahrukh Khan and Vijay Deverakonda reveal the ...

Watch the ad films conceptualised by Ogilvy here.

5 hours ago

EssenceMediacom's new division to exploit 'burgeonin...

Creative Futures brings Creative Systems and Essence Experience together.

5 hours ago

WPP sees 25% drop in whistleblower reports

WPP's annual report showed a 25% decrease in whistleblowing incidents, including issues around 'respect in the workplace' and 'protection of WPP assets.'

5 hours ago

Three ways brands can eliminate content struggles

And start creating masterworks at scale.