Reaching The Gray Market

October 29, 1990

* Discard your stereotypes of older folks. They're not poor, feeble and unsophisticated. And they're not unyielding to change.

* Pay attention to focus groups and other qualitative research that samples attitudes, interests and lifestyles. It may be more revealing than research based simply on age, income and other statistics.

* In advertising, downplay aging. Don't portray older folks as inactive. Emphasize vitality. Design ads that blend several age groups together.

* Emphasize value. Quality, not price, often is the deciding factor on a purchase.

* Don't neglect service. Older Americans remember "the good old days," when service came with a smile.

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