Why Don't Businesses Thrill Older Customers?

Why Don't Businesses Thrill Older Customers?

AgeLab Director Joe Coughlin contributes to an Milken Institute essay series titled "Business of Aging." Dr. Coughlin's essay, "Why Don't Businesses Thrill Older Customers?" provides cases of products and companies that have found ways to reach the 50-plus demographic, such as the Honda Element:

"For those who are nearing the age of market invisibility—50—there is hope. After all, mistakes do happen. Consider the Honda Element. Developed by Honda for young males in their 20s, the Element was reportedly conceived as a “dorm room on wheels.” With its boxy shape, wide doors and rubber floors, the Element was supposed to attract young guys with surfboards, bikes and dogs. A few wannabe surfer dudes did buy the car—very few. But what Honda missed was the Element’s attractiveness to older buyers—older hobbyists, gardeners, and dog owners. The prime demographic for the dorm room on wheels was not 20-somethings, but buyers between 35 and 70 years old."

Read Dr. Coughlin's thoughts in full here.


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