Advocate of the concept of “Smart Senior” and proposal to pay attention to the “Active Senior Market.”
Eleven years ago, on September 15th, 1999, I contributed a feature article titled “Smart Senior and a New Market” to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. That day was a national holiday called Respect for the Aged Day. In this article, I predicted the importance of a new market consisting of “active seniors”, and the emergence in the near future of a new type of older person that I called a “Smart Senior”.
Here is an excerpt from the 1999 article:
To be prepared for the upcoming “super aged society”, we should expand our concept of the current “silver (elderly) market”. Moreover, we should create a new market that includes the pre-elderly generation (those who are older than 50 according to a common classification in the US at that time,), and pay attention to their energetic activities. Based on this background, an outline of a core new market emerges, which I shall call the “active senior market”. The target of this market is healthy older people who do not require any nursing care yet.
In a technologically advanced country such as the USA, the number of senior Internet users reached 13,000,000, which corresponds to 16% of all Internet users in the USA as of 1999. The so-called “Smart Seniors” are really increasing. They are skilled in using the Internet. They skillfully gather information through the Internet and use this information positively for their consuming activities.
A survey on the “Smart Senior” in the US characterized them as follows:
1) They use the Internet at least once a day, 10 hours per week.
2) They are more positive about Internet shopping than younger generations.
3) They send out their opinions actively and influence the market.
This kind of “Smart Senior” is increasing in our country as well. My conjecture is that these “Smart Seniors” will play the role of pioneers in the active senior market, leading a great number of ordinary elderly and influencing their behaviors as consumers.
Eleven years have passed since I wrote this article. And now the consumers that I named as “Smart Seniors” have increased and their behaviors as consumers have changed the nature of the market significantly, because they use the Internet, cell phones, and other devices as information gathering tools, and they actively use the Internet as consumers.
- Feature Article, “Smart Senior and a New Market”
Asahi Shimbun Newspaper, Sep. 15th, 1999