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MS3536 Understanding the Consumer Age Subcultures Dr Tim Stone University of Aberdeen Business School.

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Presentation on theme: "MS3536 Understanding the Consumer Age Subcultures Dr Tim Stone University of Aberdeen Business School."— Presentation transcript:

1 MS3536 Understanding the Consumer Age Subcultures Dr Tim Stone ( University of Aberdeen Business School

2 The era in which a consumer grows up creates a cultural bond with millions of others born during the same time frame. As people age so their needs and preferences change. Impact of age

3 An age cohort comprises people of similar ages who have undergone similar experiences. The cohort will share many common memories about cultural heroes and events. Marketers often target products and services to one or more specific age cohort. Age cohorts

4 Consumers of similar ages often confront crucial life changes at roughly similar times, so values and symbolism used to appeal to them can evoke powerful feelings of nostalgia. The appeal of nostalgia

5 The nostalgia scale Source: Holbrook, M.B and Robert M. Schindler, R.M (1994), ‘Age, sex, and attitude toward the past as predictors of consumers’ aesthetic tastes for cultural products’, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 31, August 1994, p. 416.

6 Puberty and adolescence can be the best of times and also the worst of times. The changes that occur at this time create a lot of uncertainty about the self. The need to belong and to find one’s unique identity is important during the teen years. Choices made are crucial to social acceptance. Advertising geared to teenagers is normally action oriented depicting a group of ‘in’ teenagers using the product. Teen characteristics

7 Autonomy versus belonging. Rebellion versus conformity. Idealism versus pragmatism. Narcissism versus intimacy. Teen conflict themes (Saatchi and Saatchi)

8 Want to live life to the full. Will live in a digitised future that lacks warmth. View 24 hour commerce as a mechanism that can only add more stress. Phones are essential pieces of communication equipment. Are a visually literate generation with clear understanding of commercial aims. A generation that has brand awareness and is brand dismissive. Results of European study into the teen’s credo (500 of 14–20 year olds)

9 Consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 (over 30 million Europeans) have been labelled as Generation X, or busters or slackers. This group is a formidable market segment, many still live at home and have a large discretionary income. Baby busters: Generation X

10 Cynical disdainers – Pessimistic and sceptical about the world. Traditional materialists – Upbeat, optimistic about the future and actively striving for a desire for material prosperity. Hippies revisited – Espouse the non-materialistic values of the 1960s. Fifties machos – Young conservatives who believe in stereotyped gender roles and are politically conservative. Different characteristics of baby busters: Generation X (Saatchi & Saatchi)

11 Baby boomers are the source of many fundamental cultural and economic changes due to the numbers in this group. As this group has aged, its interests have changed and marketing priorities have also changed. The needs and desires of baby boomers have a strong influence on demands for housing, child care, cars and clothing to name just a few. Baby boomers

12 As the population ages, the needs of the elderly becomes increasingly more important. Many marketers traditionally ignored the elderly because of the stereotype that they were inactive and spent little. This stereotype is now out of date. Most of this segment are healthy, vigorous and interested in new products and experiences. Marketing should focus on consumers’ self concepts and perceived ages, which tend to be more youthful than the chronological ones. The grey market – the elderly

13 Autonomy – mature consumers want to lead active lives and to be self-sufficient. Connectedness – mature consumers value the bonds they have with their friends and family. Altruism – mature consumers want to give something back to the world. Personal growth – mature consumers are interested in trying out new experiences and developing their potential. Successful marketing to the grey market For marketing strategies to succeed they should be related to one or more of the following factors.

14 Keep language simple. Use clear, bright pictures. Use action to attract attention. Speak clearly, and keep the word count low. Use a single sales message, and emphasise brand extensions to tap consumers’ familiarity. Avoid extraneous stimuli. Basic guidelines for advertising to the elderly


16 Summary Europeans have many things in common with others merely because they are about the same age or live in the same country. ◦ Consumers who grew up at that time share many cultural memories and may respond to marketers nostalgia appeals. Important age cohorts include teenagers, 18-29 year olds, baby boomers and the elderly. As the population ages, the needs of elderly consumers will become increasingly influential.

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