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The Rising Potential of China's New Seniors

The Rising Potential of China's New Seniors

Dennis Potgraven

Dennis Potgraven

March 26, 2019

Set aside your millennial obsession for a moment and focus on China's fastest-growing generational group.

Campaign Asia-Pacific

By Dennis Potgraven
Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Group Greater China

March 26, 2019

 

There is certainly no shortage of research or advice when it comes to marketing to millennials, touted as the most significant demographic in marketing. China is no exception when it comes to millennial obsession. However, a closer look reveals that elderly people (defined as over-60s) represent the fastest growing generational group in China. This group accounts for over 170 million people, representing more than a quarter of all Chinese households. Not only are they getting more comfortable with technology, they are also open to new experiences and products, making them a hard-to-ignore group. Based on our Meaningful Brands and Prosumer studies, we found a particular group of seniors within the post-60’s demographic that displayed a high potential for business growth. We call this group China’s ‘new seniors’ and the following are five distinct trends and accompanying opportunities that arise from this group.  

1. Life after parenthood

Self-love. China’s new seniors are starting to develop more self-love than any other older generation. In the words of a respondent, “I have been working so hard to earn a living and raise my child. Now it’s time to live for myself and spend more time on things for myself.”

The new seniors are vocal about doing things they like, but also don’t want to undermine the strong emotional bond they share with their grown children. However, the reality is that young adults in China still count on the support of their parents, be it economic (mortgage loans) or social (help with raising grandkids).

Brands can play a key role in addressing the tension between the willingness to support and the higher need for self-enjoyment. 

2. Pragmatic, healthier lives

The new seniors’ pursuit of a healthier lifestyle is a key trend, showcasing a pragmatic mindset that is worth exploring. The concept of health is not limited to solving physical problems or resolving health worries, but to having a healthier lifestyle, and more importantly, peace of mind. In order to achieve the goal, new seniors rely more on expertise than previous experience among peers. They are also more open to new health concepts and new ways of staying healthy.

However, there are several obstacles to be tackled. Faced with multiple and complicated messages about health, it is a considerable task to tell the fake from the correct, which often leads to poorly informed choices and expenses.

What can brands do to help? Showcase the importance of health and help seniors lead heathier lives by offering trustworthy advice and solutions that are easy to implement.

3. Explore socializing

China’s new seniors are no longer limited by working hours, so finding meaningful ways of spending time, such as travel, are becoming a new need in this new life stage. Hobbies like travel are increasingly explored with friends rather than family.

But the issue is there are not enough qualified products or service to meet the customized needs of the elderly. Most brands haven’t realized that seniors’ needs should be properly listened to and understood. Their experience needs to be upgraded.

The brand role in dealing with this problem should be offering them a new experience enabling them to be together, facilitating in attaching and establishing deeper relation and curiosity for new cultures and new places matching this generations interests.

For example, e-commerce platform PinDuoDuo offers seniors social bonding via a mechanism called acquaintance e-commerce, where they can invite friends to join a bargain to get an attractive low price. Seniors are hyperactive in this game, not merely due to the low price but also to the socializing opportunity the app offers.

 

Read the full article

Campaign Asia-Pacific

By Dennis Potgraven
Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Group Greater China

March 26, 2019

 

There is certainly no shortage of research or advice when it comes to marketing to millennials, touted as the most significant demographic in marketing. China is no exception when it comes to millennial obsession. However, a closer look reveals that elderly people (defined as over-60s) represent the fastest growing generational group in China. This group accounts for over 170 million people, representing more than a quarter of all Chinese households. Not only are they getting more comfortable with technology, they are also open to new experiences and products, making them a hard-to-ignore group. Based on our Meaningful Brands and Prosumer studies, we found a particular group of seniors within the post-60’s demographic that displayed a high potential for business growth. We call this group China’s ‘new seniors’ and the following are five distinct trends and accompanying opportunities that arise from this group.  

1. Life after parenthood

Self-love. China’s new seniors are starting to develop more self-love than any other older generation. In the words of a respondent, “I have been working so hard to earn a living and raise my child. Now it’s time to live for myself and spend more time on things for myself.”

The new seniors are vocal about doing things they like, but also don’t want to undermine the strong emotional bond they share with their grown children. However, the reality is that young adults in China still count on the support of their parents, be it economic (mortgage loans) or social (help with raising grandkids).

Brands can play a key role in addressing the tension between the willingness to support and the higher need for self-enjoyment. 

2. Pragmatic, healthier lives

The new seniors’ pursuit of a healthier lifestyle is a key trend, showcasing a pragmatic mindset that is worth exploring. The concept of health is not limited to solving physical problems or resolving health worries, but to having a healthier lifestyle, and more importantly, peace of mind. In order to achieve the goal, new seniors rely more on expertise than previous experience among peers. They are also more open to new health concepts and new ways of staying healthy.

However, there are several obstacles to be tackled. Faced with multiple and complicated messages about health, it is a considerable task to tell the fake from the correct, which often leads to poorly informed choices and expenses.

What can brands do to help? Showcase the importance of health and help seniors lead heathier lives by offering trustworthy advice and solutions that are easy to implement.

3. Explore socializing

China’s new seniors are no longer limited by working hours, so finding meaningful ways of spending time, such as travel, are becoming a new need in this new life stage. Hobbies like travel are increasingly explored with friends rather than family.

But the issue is there are not enough qualified products or service to meet the customized needs of the elderly. Most brands haven’t realized that seniors’ needs should be properly listened to and understood. Their experience needs to be upgraded.

The brand role in dealing with this problem should be offering them a new experience enabling them to be together, facilitating in attaching and establishing deeper relation and curiosity for new cultures and new places matching this generations interests.

For example, e-commerce platform PinDuoDuo offers seniors social bonding via a mechanism called acquaintance e-commerce, where they can invite friends to join a bargain to get an attractive low price. Seniors are hyperactive in this game, not merely due to the low price but also to the socializing opportunity the app offers.

 

Read the full article

Dennis leads the integrated strategy teams in five Havas villages: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Taipei, and Hong Kong.

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