Learning to love the older consumer

Szmigin, Isabelle and Carrigan, Marylyn (2001). Learning to love the older consumer. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 1(1) pp. 22–34.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.51


This paper examines how and why marketing has largely ignored the older consumer and concentrated on younger targets. It explores some of the myths of the older consumer and through examining recent research in the USA and the UK makes a plea for accepting the older consumer as still very much in the main stream of marketing. It also explores how society constructs age and how older people may wish to see themselves. While age related myopia is unsatisfactory for both consumers and marketing, older consumers may express a wide range of identities, making them a potentially complex target for marketing. The paper suggests that more research is needed to explore the different motives and identities of these important consumers with a view to better meeting their needs in terms of appropriate products, messages and media.

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