The Dollars and Sense of the Business of Aging

Posted by CC Andrews

Mar 16, 2018 5:08:19 PM

In 2014, L’Oreal made a bold move in the ever-youthful beauty industry. The cosmetics company launched a splashy new line of anti-aging products and hired Diane Keaton, then 68, as the spokeswoman. L’Oreal realized that older women were an underserved market with money to spend.

More companies are starting to realize that being age friendly isn’t just good business, it’s also good for business. Seniors are redefining the aging process

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and are forcing companies to rethink aging from both a customer and workforce perspective, according to “Turning Silver into Gold: The Business of Aging,” a report produced by the Milken Institute as part of the 2017 Summit on Business and the Future of Aging.

Seen by some as the world’s most compelling business opportunity, the 60-plus population will double to more than 2 billion by 2050. Seniors bring highly desired disposable income and growing needs as customers while offering experience, wisdom and institutional knowledge as employees. The fastest-growing demographic is unrivaled both by what it has—and has to offer. Now, it’s up to companies to realize the lucrative opportunity at their doorstep.

But to capture these emerging markets, businesses need to imagine a new future of aging. “How can we rewire, not retire? Reboot not retread? Turn recreation in to re-creation? The business sector can play a key role—and provide important leadership—in all of these areas,” notes Peter Mullin, chair of the M Center of Excellence, quoted in the report.

Businesses need to understand how today’s seniors differ from previous generations, and their willingness to learn can impact the bottom line. Older adults are a human capital resource pool that can contribute as entrepreneurs, employees, mentors and leaders. They can also train the next generation of workers, thereby helping to avoid a brain drain that would be detrimental to the economy.

The business community must embrace the undervalued and underutilized talents of older workers to realize “opportunities too compelling to ignore,” the report warns.

 

Spending power

Consider this: baby boomers account for half of all consumer packaged-goods dollars, but marketing tends to stop courting customers at the “cutoff” age of 49. “(But) older adults are “the most marketing friendly generation in U.S. history,” notes market research company Nielsen, quoted in the report. “They are healthy and growing, not broken and dying.”

 

Campaigns that target boomers are twice as likely to be successful as those targeting millennials, according to University of Michigan researchers. While younger generations are merely liking and sharing on social media, boomers are buying.

 

Other highlights from the Milken Institute report show the global power of the silver wallet:

 

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts project that by 2020, annual consumer spending by adults age 60+ globally will reach $15 trillion.
  • Americans age 50 and up account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity, a figure surpassing the gross domestic product of every nation except the United States and China. However, fewer than half of companies are taking global aging into account in their strategic planning.
  • In developed countries, the 60 and older demographic is projected to generate half of all urban consumption growth between 2015 and 2030, significantly fueled by health care spending, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
  • In the United States, adults age 60 and older control 70 percent of disposable income.

 

Redefining retirement

Older adults want to continue living productive and meaningful lives. A growing number of workers are working well into retirement years and redefining retirement expectations.

Current trends suggest it will become increasingly unusual for retirees to leave the workforce altogether. That’s a boon to companies facing a brain drain as their most experienced and knowledgeable workers retire. And, recent research bolsters the argument for older workers by disproving the stereotype that productivity declines with age.

Older adults who remain working beyond age 55 are having significant and wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. workforce already, the Milken Institute report emphasizes:

  • Workers age 55 and older have driven nearly all the labor force growth in recent years, growing from the smallest to largest segment of U.S. labor.
  • By 2024, nearly 25 percent of American workers will be age 55+, up from just 12 percent in 1994.
  • Almost 9 million Americans age 65 or older are working, nearly twice the number of teens who work.
  • Even so, the overall U.S. labor force has declined in recent years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Without proper foresight and preparation, these two challenges will combine to create an unprecedented and potentially crippling talent crisis in the coming decade,” notes the Baxter Consulting Group, publisher of the 2017 “Managing the New Multi-Generational Workforce.”

 

 

The times are changing, and businesses have to change right along with them, the report urges. Embrace the promise and possibilities of an older workforce and develop policies and practices that reflect changing demographics for both customers and employees. Changes today will positively influence profits and position companies for a more diverse and prosperous longevity economy.

As Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging, notes in the report, “We know that over half of workers report they want to work longer and differently, which tells us the megatrend of the aging of society is beginning to have huge impact on 21st century life. The question remains: are institutions of society, including employers, ready to deal with these transformative changes?”

If you want a focused approach to staying relevant in the longevity economy, facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.

 

 

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Topics: older adults, 55+, longevity, Business

Recognizing the Loneliness Crisis Among Older Adults Is a Vital First Step 

Posted by CC Andrews

Mar 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Being lonely is not a new phenomenon, just think of all the pop songs with the word lonely in them or the melodramas that play out on television and film in which characters feel isolated or lost in their own world. When it comes to reality and the issues of loneliness among older adults, however, the repercussions are rife with physical and emotional costs and are not cured by pep talks or Hollywood happy endings.

Nursing Home Stays_1920 copyA new study from the IBM Institute for Business Value and the IBM Aging Strategic Initiative puts the human and economic price of loneliness in perspective as a way to not only deal with the psychic toll of being lonely, but also to offer ideas to help limit the problem.

IBM’s research revealed, among other things, that families and caregivers of those affected by loneliness leaves them feeling overwhelmed by the chore of filling in for the social gaps in their loved one’s or patient’s life, while at the same time ensuring their medical care is top priority.

“Frequent visits by older adults to their physicians for social interaction also strain limited health care resources by diverting them from other acute needs,” IBM found. Often, this process leads to what doctors call “somaticizing,” which is defined as a person who converts anxiety into physical symptoms. There is no underlying ailment to cure, as the interaction with a doctor is instead a cry for social interaction.

Even with the knowledge of what loneliness does to older adults, there are barriers to knowing how to proceed, the report says, running the gamut from the stigma associated with the condition, the lack of a screening process, and inaccurate assumptions prioritizing technology over the personal and customized.

But, there is always hope. And, many communities around the country and world are offering solutions like in England where postal workers are trained to do call and checks to see how isolated residents are doing, or in Japan where specific communities are being constructed to cater to more social interaction allowing residents to age in place.

Professor Hiroko Akiyama of the Institute of Gerontology at University of Tokyo said in the report that society needs an entire redesign in order to address loneliness. Akiyama also noted that there is tremendous potential to engage with new and existing industries, organizations, and agencies to create more holistic solutions that better support the aging population and help them maintain social connections. Examples include:

  • Intergenerational living: Co-housing programs, as explained in a previous post, are shared living areas for older adults and younger generations can contribute to the exchange of support and companionship between residents.
  • Post-retirement careers and education opportunities: New partnerships among employers, universities, and government agencies that can create new work options, in addition to the opportunity to build new skills and associations.
  • Autonomous transportation: Older adults may be the most enthusiastic early adopters of self-driving vehicles, claims the report. This mobility option can restore their independence and re-open social engagement with the community.

All told, it’s going to take a new kind of village to make loneliness less prevalent, the report implies. In the longevity economy, that village must include entities that can come together to find solutions.

If you want a focused approach to staying relevant in the longevity economy that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today. 

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Topics: longevity economy, Business

5 Ways to Obtain Brand Differentiation with Membership and Trade Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Jan 11, 2018 10:42:00 AM

In two recent blog posts , I reported the results of a study by a large trade association of its corporate partners. Interviews with corporate partners revealed that the companies expected three value propositions from the association: positioning as a knowledge leader; business development opportunities, and brand differentiation. The previous blog posts addressed how companies can be positioned as knowledge leaders and how companies can obtain business development opportunities with associations.

How does a company—especially a company that is a corporate sponsor or partner with an association—achieve brand differentiation?

The first step is to identify the brand identify or differentiation you’d like to achieve. What might the association’s members misunderstand or misperceive about your company? What would you like the association’s members to know and say about your company?

Second, how do you differentiate your company from your competition? What is your company’s “edge”?

Third, identify your company’s biggest challenges in getting the message about your company’s brand identity to members of the association.

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Approach your contact on the staff of each association your company supports and ask about opportunities to assert brand differentiation:

1. Establish your company’s brand on the association’s

website and other digital media. Ask if the association will create a presence for your company to recognize your expertise and products/services for members. Consider including a video about the solutions your company offers to members.

2. Gain brand visibility among attendees at the association’s conferences. Ask if there are any special activities, events, or features at the conference that your company can brand or co-brand with the association. Are there are opportunities to introduce a general session speaker or moderate education sessions? Perhaps your company can sponsor the conference app, charging stations, entertainment, coffee break, fitness/wellness activity, name badge lanyards, shuttle buses, or wi-fi service. It will be beneficial if you can customize the opportunity—for example providing coffee cup sleeves including your company’s logo at the coffee break. Or connect the opportunity to your company’s services, such as a healthcare company sponsoring the fitness/wellness activity.

3. Seek ongoing brand visibility among the association’s members. Ask if any naming rights are available, for example, a conference room in the association’s office, an annual award might include your brand’s name, or a new initiative might be available for cobranding.

4. Dominate in established resources. If the association has a business directory, ask about enhanced listing or preferred online search result placement to focus more attention on your company.

5. Gain visibility through recognition. Identify award programs that might be a fit for the nomination of your company. Ask the association to nominate you, or perhaps your company and the association can submit an award nomination together for a joint project.

Remember, brand building starts at home: Consider what your company can do with its existing resources to gain recognition for your support of an association. For example, include information about your support of and collaboration with the association on your company website and in your communications with your customers or clients. If there is an approved seal, incorporate it into your materials. If you have a showroom or meeting room that is frequented by customers or clients, post a sign noting your proud support of the association. Ensure that customers and prospects affiliated with an association are aware of your support. It can be an influencer when it comes time to select you over your competition.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself to achieve your brand differentiation goals with associations and their members, please contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with associations, read:[6 Ways to Achieve your Business Development Goals with Membership and Trade Associations]

#1 Knowledge Leader

#2 Business Development

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Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

6 Ways to Achieve your Business Development Goals with Membership and Trade Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Dec 29, 2017 10:34:00 AM

In a recent blog post, I reported the results of a study by a large trade association of its corporate partners. Interviews with corporate partners revealed that the companies expected three value propositions from the association: positioning as a knowledge leader; business development opportunities, and brand differentiation. The previous blog post addressed how companies can be positioned as knowledge leaders with associations.

How does a company—especially a company that is a corporate sponsor or partner with an association—obtain business development opportunities?

The first step is to identify your business development goals related to members of the association. What are your sales goals? What is your return on investment goal?

Second, identify your company’s biggest challenges, barriers, and obstacles when it comes to marketing to the association’s members.

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Third, identify the business development strategies that have proven most effective for your company. For example, is your sales team most successful with trade shows, advertising, direct marketing, webinars, content marketing, events, social media, etc.?

Armed with this information, it’s time to approach your contact on the staff of each association your company supports. Ask about opportunities that could result in business development for your company, with the following six tactics in mind. Note: Although the desired end result is new business, be sure that the content you provide for the first three strategies below should be educational in nature, not sales pitches.

1. Reach a targeted group of members. For example, you may determine that members with a certain title; in a particular business sector; or with a particular area of interest (technology or quality improvement perhaps) are your best prospects. Explore doing a presentation on a topic of interest for this group at one of their face-to-face meetings or perhaps via webinar (or both).

2. The association might have listservs of members that are part of a particular group or share an interest in a topic. Provide the listserv’s members with a white paper or other information on a topic that would appeal to the group.

3. If you are interested in reaching members in a particular metropolitan area, the association might work with your company to convene some of these members for a seminar or forum in their city.

4. Identify association members that are—and are not—your customers. Ask the association if they can cross-match their membership list with your client list to identify prospective new customers.

5. Arrange to have a private conversation with a prospective client at a large conference. Big conference hotels and convention centers are often not conducive to small, private meetings. Ask the association if they can provide you with access to a meeting room in a convenient location.

6. Consider doing business with the association’s other corporate partners. Perhaps you offer a product or service that other corporate partners would want to purchase for their company or their employees. Or maybe you could engage in a joint marketing venture with one of the association’s other corporate partners. Ask the association if they would introduce you to particular partners or arrange for a meeting of all the association’s corporate partners.

By working with your association partners in a strategic and methodical way, you should notice a solid uptick in business development opportunities attributable to the relationship.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself to achieve your business develop goals with associations and their members, please contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of association affiliations, read:

[Why and How to Position Your Company as a Knowledge Leader through Associations]

#1 Knowledge Leader

#3 Brand Differentiation

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Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

Why and How to Position Your Company as a Knowledge Leader through Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Dec 19, 2017 10:18:00 AM

Several years ago, a large trade association hired a consultant to interview each of the association’s corporate sponsors to determine their level of satisfaction in their engagement with the organization. Some of the results were quite revealing.

 The consultant reported that all of the association’s corporate sponsors were in almost complete agreement on the three value propositions they expected from the association. All of the companies desired business development opportunities and brand differentiation as a top-level sponsor. No big surprise.

 BLOCKS (1).jpgThe next big reason these companies sponsored the association was knowledge leadership. They wanted to be positioned as problem solvers and idea generators in addition to selling products and services. They wanted to help members face challenges and improve operations.

How does a company position itself as a knowledge leader with associations that represent the company’s customers and prospective customers?

The first step is to sincerely position yourself as a knowledge leader. If you “wave the knowledge leader banner” while hawking your product or service, you probably won’t succeed. The association’s staff and members can smell sales pitches a mile away.

Positioning your company as a knowledge leader may ultimately lead to sales, however, if your primary goal is selling, you won’t be viewed as a knowledge leader.

Next, you’ll want to find out what kinds of knowledge the association and its members need. Ask your contact at each association you’re engaged with if they or someone else on staff can talk with you about key issues facing members. The “what keeps members up at night?” issues. The latest regulatory issues? Shifts in payment models? Changing demographics and consumer expectations?

Ask the association’s staff person if the organization has conducted surveys of members and/or conference attendees that reveal members’ “pain points.” Are staff in the Member Services or Education Departments aware of challenges facing members?

Armed with this information about what the members need at each association, identify alignment with your company’s expertise.

Here are five ways to position your company as a knowledge leader:

1. Write a white paper or case study. Ask the associations if they will distribute it to their members; you can also distribute it to your customers and prospective customers.

2. Develop content for a webinar. Ask the associations if they will contribute content and/or co-present the webinar with you for their members; you can also present the webinar to your customers and prospective customers.

3. Ask the associations if they have a gap in the educational programming for their conference; maybe your company has an expert on the topic who could be on the faculty or a panel discussion. If the education program is based on proposals, ask association staff if they would provide you with guidance on developing a strong proposal.

4. Ask the associations if they have state affiliates that would be interested in your white paper, webinar, and education session.

  • Find out if the associations have committees, task forces, or councils that are in need of expertise available from your company. You could offer to serve on the group or make a presentation to them.

The three reasons companies support associations are closely related. Companies that are effective knowledge leaders become trusted resources for members. As a result, these companies achieve brand differentiation compared to their competitors. And the outcome is these companies are more likely to gain new business.

It’s a win-win-win. Your company is better positioned in the marketplace. Members of the associations receive much-needed information. The associations gain added value for their members and the companies that support their members.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself as a knowledge leader with trade and professional associations and their members, contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of association affiliations, read:

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#2 Business Development

#3 Brand Differentiation

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Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

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