The consumer population in the United States is aging, and businesses who want to continue to grow are being forced to adapt to that reality. In order to make sure they are remaining relevant to those who are now in an older age bracket, the idea of hiring a gerontologist is quickly becoming an appealing concept. Simply by hiring someone who understands how to target an older segment of the market, brands may be able to avoid making mistakes that could cost them dearly in the end.
It’s Not That Simple
An easy mistake to make, and one that has certainly been made by businesses in the past, is to think that all senior citizens can be lumped into the same consumer category. That is just as incorrect as trying to consider all buyers in their 30s to be similar in their wants and needs. Just because seniors happen to be the same age as each other does not mean they suddenly all have the same expectations as consumers. These people remain individuals as they age, and a gerontologist can help a brand sort out exactly what kinds of expectations their target market is going to possess.
Adapt or Die
For a long time, it seemed to be the case that brands would simply build their products with younger buyers in mind – and basically force older consumers to just deal with it. Now, however, with seniors making up such a sizable part of the market, it is necessary for brands to adapt to the needs of those in their retirement years. Since the market is so big, with so much buying power, businesses can no longer afford to basically ignore this segment. After all, if one business decides not to cater properly to the needs of their senior customers, one of their competitors will be more than happy to do so.
The Right Markets
Clearly, not every business is going to be able to benefit from bringing a gerontologist onto the staff. This is a valuable field of study, but it needs to be applicable to a business’ regular operations in order to make sense. Some of the markets which have been finding gerontology to be a useful addition to their office include financial services companies like investment companies and banks. Of course, that is in addition to the companies that have long sought out people trained in this area, such as senior living facilities.
Business is Business
At the end of the day, the idea behind hiring a gerontologist is the same as anything else a business does as part of its operations – it’s an attempt to serve customers. As those customers age, some of their expectations and needs will change, while others will stay the same. Having a person or people on staff who can analyze how those changes will intersect with a company’s offering of products or services can be huge.