With the 'cultural flip' of the 1960s, instead of values passing from age to youth, they began to flow the other way. Although we thought at the time that you were either young and part of it or old and out of it, it seems that our generation has yet to reach its sell-by date. The post-war 'baby boomers' are now beginning to grow old, and are confounding marketeers in the process. Unlike their parents, whose lives were shaped by depression and war, this generation has in truth never had it bad. The first to enjoy significant levels of disposable income, everything throughout their adult lives has been targeted at them; the new 'third agers', as the 50-75 age group is often called, insist it should remain so, and have the financial might to ensure that it does. No longer faced with slipping into obscurity or striving to feign youth-fulness, the generation of which I am part aims for continuing style and there are plenty of role models to inspire us: Calvin Klein, Paul McCartney, Catherine Deneuve and Mick Jagger are in their mid to late fifties. What will be the impact of this marketing phenomenon on product? In my opinion, the 'third-agers' will lead the demand for products which are 'modern' but will eschew ridiculousness and excess, they will prioritize ease of care, practicality and comfort appropriate to their relaxed lifestyles. In other words, they will effect a fundamental shift away from faddish or dictatorial 'fashion' towards enduring, interpretable 'style' and genuinely high-quality design.
Was this article helpful?