Companies around the globe are actively recruiting
from the employment sector that is the fastest growing and radically different
from the norm.
Corporations large and small have woken up to the huge army of experienced, older
workers available to them. These ‘new’ employees know what to do, how to work and behave, understand schedules,
holiday rotas and shifts and have a wealth of real world experience and
knowledge to share with customers.
In the UK, B&Q, a home build and decorating center chain has had a policy
of active recruitment amongst the over 60’s for years simply because the workers know how
to put up tiles, install a new faucet, hang paper and curtains as they’ve been
doing it for years – unlike your typical college student who barely knows
how a light switch works.
Older workers are also more loyal and committed and very appreciative of
their staff bonus and instore discount package so both employers and employees
benefit. Employers who use older workers report less time lost to sickness,
greater profit and increased customer satisfaction. And then there’s
motivation – over two thirds of retired re-workers do it because they want
to rather than because they have to (Source: Putnam and AARP).
So what’s so interesting about this growing trend to a niche market product
Niche Market Idea – Older Workers
Simple economics and demographics make this trend bigger than the now famous
boomers and one that will only get bigger and bigger as the boomers themselves age. The ‘re-workers’ have what many of their friends have now lost –
good health, good income and a sense of still being at the heart of society.
They have the energy, the money and the time to enjoy themselves – they
have a job but aren’t working 24/7 – typically more like 6/3.
This means there is a huge and growing customer base who want to do and buy
stuff that previously was out of reach. This means that product developers who
create products that aren’t exclusive to a younger audience will do EXTREMELY
well in this new age.
By this we don’t mean developing specific products for the older buyer but
creating versions or tools that are FOR the older buyer. It’s back to the
classic skill of STP (Segmentation, targeting and positioning).
Ideas we can think of include:
- How are your products packaged? Do you use cover designs and images that are
all of 30 somethings?
- What about the format of your product? Although they are still very fit and
active nature will have diminished the older buyers hearing and sight. Is your
product in small type or do you have a version that uses slightly larger font
size and more space to make it easier for older eyes to read?
- Have you used the latest recording techniques and a good quality microphone for
- What about content? Are your products more about staying young or escaping
to a new life?
What about these more elderly friendly product alternatives?
- Out of season short break vacations
- Investment clubs
- Room conversion projects for your grandchildren
- Running a home summer camp with your grand kids
- How to use the digitial world
- Suppleness and mobility
- Dealing with younger employers
- What to do when you’re asked for life changing advice
- Choosing the right new hobby or study class first time
- Older workers portal or subscription site – self help tips, common
problems and solutions, older workers favourite products and services
As we hope you’ll see – this niche market idea is all about making your product speak to people at their level – NOT YOURS – while putting things in front of them that are relevant, useful and on target for the kind of things going on in their day to day busy, active lives. If you can adapt prodcts to suit you’ll be onto a winner and ahead of the rest of the generic same old competition.
We’ll be covering this consumer group in detail in an upcoming Consumer Trends Report.