A New Year resolution

Consumer demand


Women Dec13Do you recognise any of these women?  Pictured in an excellent Financial Times article they are (left to right), New York Style icon Iris Apfel; model and actress Marisa Berenson; model and actress Lauren Hutton; fashion designer Jenny Kee; actress Meryl Streep.

Nothing difficult about that you may say – even if, like the blog, you remember the faces but not all the names.

But think about what they have in common, for a moment.  Yes, you’ve guessed, they are all BabyBoomers who are now in the New Old 55+ generation.  And as the FT comments, they are a forgotten generation as far as the retail industry is concerned:

The problem is that few clothing retailers have successfully managed to market to the baby-boomer women – ironic, given that advertising has for decades been geared to selling the postwar generation everything from blue jeans to Pepsi.”

The research director at retail advisory firm Verdict is even more specific:

Older shoppers have the disposable income but they are not necessarily spending it on clothes, because many retailers are not targeting them successfully….Most store groups are chasing younger shoppers, who are more driven by fashion and so are much easier to understand.”

The retail industry is not alone in its ignorance, of course.  Substitute the word ‘clothes’ for the products your company supplies.  How much of your production is aimed at the New Old?  How much of your Research and Development is spent on developing new products and services for them?  How much of your marketing effort is spent on them compared to younger generations?

The blog’s suggestion for a New Year resolution is that we all decide to wake up to the impact of the demographic changes underway

  • One in five of the global adult population were in the New Old generation 15 years ago
  • One in four are currently in the New Old
  • One in three will be in the New Old within 15 years

Increasing life expectancy should be good news for everyone.  People everywhere are living a decade longer than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  So would it not make good sense to focus your business on the opportunity this creates for increasing sales and profit?

The blog is already using the expertise it has gained in this area to help a number of well-known companies go up the learning curve as fast as possible.  It would be delighted to help you as well.

Happy New Year!


The blog in 2013


The blog’s audience has continued to set new records in 2013.  It is now ...

Learn more

Global economy approaches a T-junction


Intuition’s great benefit is that it provides a different perspective.  ...

Learn more
More posts
The Top 5 pandemic paradigm shifts

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the fundamental changes which were already underway in global ...

Hertz goes bankrupt as non-essential consumer demand disappears

The US Federal Reserve has now spent $7tn bailing out Wall Street. But it couldn’t save the 10...

Smartphone sales head into decline as affordability becomes key

The smartphone sales decline accelerated in Q1, as Strategy Analytics report: “Global smartpho...

China’s plastic ban and recycling launch marks end of ‘business as usual’ for plastics industry

Paradigm shifts start slowly at first, and it is easy to miss them. But then one day, they suddenly ...

Automakers face stiff headwinds in big emerging markets

Brazil, Russia, India and China disappoint as manufacturers face investment demands of EVs © Bloomb...

Portugal shows the way to climate neutrality by 2050

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do”. The Irish proverb’...

The next billion phone users will be buying $10 smart feature phones, not $1000 iPhones

Smartphone sales plateaued in Q3, down 9% since Q3 2017’s peak of 1.55bn, as the chart shows....

Companies ignore the Perennials 55+ generation at their peril

Nearly a third of the the world’s High Income population are now in the Perennials 55+ generat...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more