Drivers of Change: New Lifestages and Lifecourses

Implications for Marketeers

Roger Donbavand
United Kingdom.

TRADITIONAL LIFESTAGES ARE IN FLUX ... BUT WHO IS NOTICING?

The concept of life stages such as pre-family, family, empty nester and retired are familiar to most involved in marketing communications activity. Marketeers have recognised the potential for utilising a life stage model as a demographic segmentation tool. Variations of the model have been developed by researchers and marketeers over the past few decades. Changes in society have created fissures even within an evolved life stage model – in other words, there are now significant, distinct groups of consumers who currently 'fall between the gaps' of the model.

Indeed the original model of life stages was based upon the assumption that the majority of people marry relatively young, have children and then grow old together. This simply does not reflect UK society today and indeed in many developed countries worldwide.