At the recent COTA Vic conference, there were a few trends that arose with regards to services expected when needing aged care in the future, or the things that we all still want to be able to do easily as we age. The three top themes were:
- Spontaneity: being able to grab some milk when it runs out – not tomorrow when our desire for a bowl of cereal has waned.
- Flexibility: no one wants to be put in a box and offered a bog standard care package. If getting your hair done is important to you, you still want to be able to enjoy this part of your life and choose the services that best fit our needs as we age.
- Independence: to stay at home as long as possible and to be able to enjoy the same activities and hobbies as we age.
Although not an earth-shattering brainstorm, these themes come up regularly in the work that we do and with others who operate within the ‘ageing’ space. However, what is innovative is the application of these desires into the way we communicate with this market segment.
Instead of spontaneity and independence, older people are often marketed to with messages and images dripping in cliché and paternalism. As marketers to older people, we need to embody the emotional and functional aspects of these themes making sure they resonate with the feelings older people have with being spontaneous, flexible and independent as well as the practical aspects of what it takes to be these things too.