Dr. E.E. Baulieu spoke to Idea City about the science of aging, and the challenges of a world population that is aging.
No one signs up to get old, he says, because it means "frailty, vulnerability and dependence." Not exactly a marketable brand promise, as it were. He hopes to change this to "autonomy, freedom and independence."
He showed us that the maximum life span is not going anywhere, but the average life span is longer. What this means is that the aging and lifespan curve now looks more like a cliff, with many people living to an older age, and then dying within a relative small age range.
The implications for us here, however are this: as aging becomes a healthier experience, we will need to think very differently about the business and marketing opportunities presented by consumers in the last half of life.
This is a mega-trend that has already started, and will continue to pick up speed for decades. We simply must abandon any notion that everyone over 65 is in the same segment -- they aren't. We need to map out some entirely new life-stage models and look at ways to engage these consumers quite differently.