Market universally: Is designing for an older generation better for everyone?

* 3 min read

An ageing population presents many challenges for brands, marketers and designers, but along with those challenges come opportunities to not just engage the older generation, but everyone. It’s clear that frictionless design is good for all of us – no matter how old we are.

Our recent whitepaper concentrates on how brands can benefit from (and learn from) an ageing population, and shares insight from a diverse mix of experts, including founder of ‘The Age of No Retirement’ (TAONR) George Lee, and our very own Guy Douglass, strategy director at Parker Williams. Here they share why inclusive design is so much more relevant than exclusive design.

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Georgina Lee

Founder
The Age of No Retirement 

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"It's not age that defines us; at TAONR, we recently produced a report that spoke to 2,000 people between 18 and 99 years of age and found that the needs, desires, values and motivators were actually much more similar across the ages and generations than current designers, marketers, policy makers and society in general would have us believe.

It's important that businesses engage meaningfully with their target audience according to common values and needs regardless of age; these 'age labels' that stereotype older people are in danger of holding back business.

At the heart of our organisation is set of intergenerational design principles that are crystal clear; if you design for accessibility for all, you start marketing universally, and this is something that needs to be top-of-mind with every CEO, as it will directly impact business’ bottom line.

Brands who want to secure the spend of the growing 65+ demographic need to carefully consider the way they segment, target and engage. Designing things with the over 65s in mind, will benefit everyone.

Assume nothing and re-think everything."

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Guy Douglass

Strategy Director
Parker Williams

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"I'm a huge supporter of 'inclusive design for all'. One of my major focuses is on how design can make people's lives better. One example I've always used is Mira showers who, when looking at the ageing population, wondered how to design a shower that was easy for older people to use (taps can be difficult to turn on and off when you have arthritis).

However, what they actually came up with is a shower that was easier for everyone to use. A shower isn’t that complicated, and it was a light bulb moment for everyone involved in the project. And whilst older people may well need more ‘frictionless’ experiences – it is the young and middle aged who are leading the charge for products and services that are accessible, usable, intuitive, natural and delightful.

An ageing population presents many challenges for brands, marketers and designers, but along with those challenges come opportunities to not just engage the older generation, but everyone. In terms of packaging design, it’s about inclusivity; we can say we need to make it easy to open jars for people with arthritis, but easy for everyone works too. It's clear that frictionless design is good for all of us – no matter how old we are."

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Want to know more? Download your FREE whitepaper here, or email hello@sunbrandingsolutions.com or call 01274 200700.