There are 15 million older people in the U.K. and that number will increase by 24% by 2040. So it represents the fastest growing sector of the population. In marketing terms it is the least well understood part of the market. It is full of stereotypes:- older people are a quiet consumer; compliant and conservative. The baby boomer generation will change much of that. They are likely to be more adventurous, more demanding and most importantly, more affluent.
So I have decided to follow up on a number of products which I have blogged about previously and for various reasons are certainly not “age friendly”.
The first product I’ve decided to follow up is plasters, because with impaired eyesight and slightly arthritic hands, they are not at all easy to unwrap and use. “Baby boomer plasters” would need to be innovative, easy to unwrap and easy to use. Below is a letter I have written to a number of plaster manufacturers.
Letter to Elastaplast
We always have a box of your plasters in the house. As the brand leader, yours is the first name that comes to mind. I recently had a minor accident in the garden where I cut my finger and reached straight away for one of your products. Only to be reminded of how difficult it is to open your double protected packaging with one arthritic hand. It drew me back to a similar experience a year ago which I wrote about in my GrumbleSmiles blog.
You can read about my earlier difficulties with your product by clicking on the link below:
I write a well read blog about improving later life for older people. One of the issues that I have frequently written about is the difficulties older people have with many modern products and particularly their packaging. The grey market is often overlooked and yet it is the most rapidly growing demographic sector of society. Older people also have the largest disposable incomes.
I realise that from a hygiene point of view, your plasters may need to be sealed. However, in a first aid situation, older people need relatively quick access which is difficult, given their more limited dexterity. I would be very interested to know if you have any plans to develop more “age friendly” products? If you do already have or plan to have in future more suitable products, I would happily include your reply in m blog.
Many thanks; I’ll await your reply.
P.s. The email I was actually able to send to Elastaplast Customer Services on their standard reply form, only allowed me to send 512 characters and no cartoon so doesn’t contain everything in the above note.
I will publish their reply when I get a response.