If you think “aged”, “senior” and “elderly” are negative buzzwords, think again! Businesses, large and small, have begun to use the ageing market as a lens through which to view their strategic plans, according to the World Economic Forum report “How 21st-Century Longevity Can Create Markets and Drive Economic Growth”. Contrary to common negative perceptions, older adults are creating a new niche market and fuelling growth and innovation.
The March/April 2017 issue of ISOfocus examines how individuals, businesses and societies will navigate the previously uncharted waters of rapidly ageing societies. Among the experts interviewed are faculty, companies, small business leaders and standards professionals from around the world, in fields ranging from robots to community infrastructures to aesthetic surgery services.
“The proportion of older consumers in our society is increasing,” says Chancellor Gérard-François Dumont, Professor at Paris-Sorbonne University and Chair of AFNOR’s Focus Group on the Silver Economy, referring to the substantial shifts in the population age structure. “It will change the economy in a way we never could have imagined.” One of these impacts is the economic potential of the “silver economy”, the market for goods and services for people aged 65 and over.
The latest issue of ISOfocus showcases some of the opportunities that exist for businesses by highlighting the sectors most likely to benefit. It gives examples of how some companies are already leveraging this growing market, taking advantage of the new demographic trend to develop products and services for older consumers.
This issue also considers the opportunities offered by standards to further evolve the silver economy, not only as a way of helping economic recovery, generating employment or raising prosperity but also, equally important, as a way to create a just and equal society for all ages. Initiatives from ISO members tapping into the economic potential of the silver economy are also highlighted.
As Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia and ISO Vice-President (finance), writes in her introductory remark: “So while we are on the cusp of this tremendous market opportunity, we can’t overlook the need for a new suite of standards as part of a wider package of economic activity. We must view the silver economy as an opportunity to develop standards that improve quality of life, that facilitate economic growth and that enhance innovation and competitiveness.”
What will the world look like in 2050? Dramatically different, to be sure. No country is immune from population ageing and if companies are destined to survive in the long term, they will need to embrace the demographic curve as an opportunity to reach an untapped market. After all, sooner or later... we’re all bound to age!
Read the latest ISOfocus to learn more.