On my way to a dinner party in London recently, I came across a middle aged individual that defined the punk scene: mowhawk, studded jeans, and an overall cutting edge appearance. Yet the aggressive, ear-splitting style of this individual belied what was in his grocery bag: an Activia yogurt. This mismatch between style and eating habits made me think: I would bet that the older adults that held on to Hippie or Punk styles are segments that would be overlooked my most marketers.
Yet this example shows that even the ‘punks’ want to be healthy.
A fundamental human need – health – is why yogurts, sports drinks, and those nice Innocent veg pots appeal to such a broad audience. Product propositions, therefore, should not necessarily be focused entirely on one set of benefits – quick, juicy, etc. By adopting a broad proposition, a product can attract a wider audience; moreover, an individual is free to attribute certain attributes to a general statement of benefits – rather than trying to fit one’s perceptions about product into a narrow proposition. Putting myself in the shoes of the punk-rocker, I would think that a proposition that implied a product was ‘for the young banker looking to improve health at his desk’ would be less appealing than one that promised an improvement in one’s immune system.
Applying this example to demographic trends has striking commercial implications. As the baby boom generation retires, health needs will come more important for this segment. Marketers should be careful that propositions do not distract or upset older consumers. A wider view is necessary.