THE recent death of Dame Anita Roddick, whom Rory Stear, chairman of Freeplay Energy Group, (she was one of the founders of the Group) described as ‘a human dynamo’, made us realise that this supercharged entrepreneur has reached the age of 64 – but was still described by press commentators as ‘a woman in her prime’.
Although Dame Anita was an exceptional human being and a business woman, to a great extent she was representative of her generation – the 1960s ‘baby boomers’ who have “spent a lifetime setting trends and steering society”.
The over 50s now hold 80% of the country’s wealth, are discerning, appreciative of good quality and very brand loyal. Among them are the groups who have to be very economical with their means but for a considerable proportion of them “quality is more important than price”.
I was very disappointed to hear, therefore, that only a handful of electrical manufacturers are proactively wooing this group of customers. Our report “Silver customer – the golden opportunity” shows that the product features which help older customers with some ‘special’ needs’, such as better grip handles or clear LCD displays are sought by all customers. As they are highly appreciative of good customer service and product knowledge, many of them purchase through local independents, which in turn encourages brand loyalty – a point to bear in mind by manufacturers.
Other industries are actively courting today’s silver customers – who are very different from those of the previous generation of golden oldies – not only because of their financial potential but also on account of their purchasing habits. Isn’t it time the electrical industry start taking them seriously too?
Anna Ryland, Editor