Tuesday, August 12, 2008

CATERING TO THE BABY BOOMER MARKET

If you have money to spare and are looking at investing in a business that’s almost guaranteed to give you your capital back many times over, may I have the audacity to offer some
suggestions.


First, let me confess I don’t have money to spare, and neither do I have an MBA or even a HFB (Head For Business). But this one thing I do know – the 50+ age group is growing. Unlike their parents when they were in this age group, the current crop of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are generally more educated, have more purchasing power, and are more discerning in what they buy. So there’s a ready and growing market for products and services that cater to them. Yet as consumers, they are largely ignored in this country.

Consider the following:


Clothes
Have you ever seen mature-looking mannequins in shop windows? Or real-life mature models on the catwalk showing off the latest fashion for baby boomers who feel 20, look 30, but are 50 or 60? This is probably because fashion retailers here are confused by what the numbers represent! Think Madonna, Tina Turner, Helen Mirren (above), and Mrs Jagjeet. Think Harrison Ford, Sean Connery and my Richard Gere look-alike cousin Lawrence. These are the faces of the new senior citizens.



Pharmacies
I have yet to come across a pharmacy that has the whole shop or at least an entire section dedicated to medical aids and products for senior citizens. It’d be so much easier for them to look for what they want. No tiny price tags or fine print on the labels, please. We can't be carrying magnifying glasses on our shopping trips. By the way, there's one supplement I can't find in any local pharmacy. I've to get my supply of Centrum Silver from Singapore because pharmacies here don’t stock it. I wonder why.


Entertainment
Are there any nightspots in town where baby boomers can enjoy listening to live bands playing only music from the 50s and 60s? As a high school kid, I listened to Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Paul Anka and the Drifters. Then along came the Woodstock era. I discovered the music of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, The Band, The Incredible String Band, Jefferson Airplane and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Now, let me repeat - where can I go to listen to bands who play such music? Please tell.










Magazines
Malaysian publishers, take note. Singapore has PRIME – a magazine that caters to readers aged 45+. There are lots of magazines on parenting, but not one on grandparenting. Don’t we matter? What about cook books catering to the special dietary needs of the elderly? Or a Sports Illustrated type magazine for them, featuring sports that they can still indulge in, with super sports stars they can relate to.



Events / Exhibitions
Exhibitions on real estate, furniture, automobiles, flowers, etc, are held regularly, but none on healthy, active ageing. Are we not important enough? How about companies sponsoring a 2-day Sports / Games Tournament for veterans? Golf isn't the only age-appropriate ball game for us. Anyway, most of us can't afford the golf shoes, much less a whole bag of clubs. Let's not even mention club membership.


Retirement Villages
Why aren’t there any developers willing to invest in providing housing with special features and facilities for healthy, active retirees? Think non-slip flooring, hand rails in the right places, easy to open windows and elderly-friendly furniture. And, definitely vast open spaces for recreational activities. This is the kind of community housing that is lacking in Malaysia. Right now, there're only nursing homes and old folks homes. Not much of a choice, is there? I'm sure there are many among us who don't mind paying a bit more for quality homes and quality living.


Anyone reading this who has the funds to invest in the booming boomer market, please give me a call. We can talk business. Trust me, I haven't even started on the best money-making ventures yet. Seriously.

7 comments:

Alisa said...

Great blog. I am in the process of taking care of my grandmother, who has Frontotemporal Dementia, and will eventually be taking care of my parents who are in their 60's.
Just as a reference, I have found a great website which supplies our family with a number of products for my grandmother. It's www.enablemart.com. I will continue to use them as the years pass. So, there might not be any "buildings" that have what you need, but there are becoming more virtual stores to fill our needs.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Lily,

Congrats on being featured in Malay Mail (Tue. 12th Aug. 2008, pg 16) CyberSpot(by Gabey Goh) until the heading 'NOT TOO OLD TO BLOG' and kindly giving me and my blog http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com due mention.

One big question to pose to all 'senior citizens' (who are bloggers especially) is whether there is any urgent need to have an uniform official minimum age, recognized world wide, to qualify as one to avoid any confusion and dispute anywhere.

It used to be 55 based on the retirement age of civil servants, but KTM (Malaysian railway) would only accept 60 and above as being eligible for any fare discount.

Lily, one good project to work on is to gather all the info availble from both the public and private sectors whereby 'senior citizens' are given due recognition in the form of special treatments and/or discounts.

Wishing you happy blogging well into the 80s & 90s...!

Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 120808
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Tue. 12th Aug. 2008.

Gerry said...

One thing else we can't get here is L'Oreal's Age Perfect - which is for women above 50. You can only get it from the Duty free at KLIA or abroad. Don't know why they don't have it in the stores in KL.

NAZA said...

NICE BLOG

NAZA

el-f said...

Alisa, TQ for the website. Most useful resource to keep in mind. Hope you will return to our blog again.

el-f said...

Gerry, will check out if I can get L'Oreal's Age Perfect in Singapore. I'm there every month. Have to say that I'm usually suspicious of any beauty product that claims to deliver 'perfect' results.

Gerry said...

I have been using this product for the last 2 years. It suits my skin better than a lot of the other brands (even the pricey ones). Get my stock in Australia and everytime I go through KLIA. I do know that it's also available in Changi Airport at the Dutyfree.