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Asia is aging, but opportunities abound

News, 10 December 2015

SINGAPORE: East Asia's consumers are aging faster than anywhere in history with a third of the world's senior population now residing in the region, a new report has revealed.

But the study from the World Bank, reported by Bloomberg, also highlights the huge opportunities for brands to market effectively to the region's senior citizens – a demographic which is often overlooked.

Warc's Aging Asia webinar, running today at 1pm Singapore Time, is set to explore the implications and opportunities for brands of Asia's aging population. Interested readers can register here.

South Korea – one of the wealthiest countries in Asia – has the fastest-aging population in the OECD. Japan, Singapore and China are not far behind. And life expectancies in Asia's developed economies are now longer – Singaporean men live on average more than 20 years beyond the official retirement age and women 25 years, the longest out of the 68 countries ranked by Bloomberg in 2013.

Though pension schemes are becoming squeezed, there is little sign that the consumer power of the demographic is diminishing. Consulting firm Capgemini Merrill Lynch claims that 54% of APAC High Net Worth Individuals are now over 56 years old.

Today's senior citizen is not the traditional stereotype of an elderly grandmother. According to Dave McCaughan, editor of Warc's series investigating consumer behavior in Asia's senior citizens, she is a 60 year-old who is likely to live to more than 90 years of age in relatively good health, with a desire to keep on exploring life for most of her remaining years. She is social, keen to experience new things and often internet connected.

As the statistical trends become undeniable, brands are realising the imperative of "aging up" their marketing strategies and accommodating senior citizens in their customer experience. Marketers have rarely considered the physical changes that accompany the aging process when creating a communications strategy, online presence, retail environment or product design, but this is now changing.

Industries such as travel, health and products that help seniors enjoy fulfilling lifestyles are set to capitalise on Asia's aging population in particular.

Data sourced from Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff