Retired man sitting in restored red mustang

I’m sure some people are asking, “What qualifications do you have to talk about an old man?” Well…it’s easy. I have one!

Having had the opportunity to work along side ‘my old man’ for over 2 decades now, I guess I have a fairly unique perspective on this month’s topic of ‘Seniors’.

To some, the concept of having old people around conjures up images of cardigans, cups of tea, stories of the war and gentle escapes of air that ultimately lead to the death of the family canary. But this is a fairly old fashioned view and one that needs to be addressed by both society and especially marketers.

The world is a different place for a 70 year old today compared to even 20 years ago. When you look over the last 3 decades at the incredible acceleration of technology, it’s hard for some to imagine a life without a mobile phone. Hell, try explaining to a 13 year old that social media didn’t even exist before they were born!

As a 30-something, the transitions are so quick that already I can see that there will come a day when I struggle to maintain a daily appreciation for the shifts and changes in the technological landscape.

Through all this though, it’s amazing how the current generation of ‘seniors’ (aka the Baby Boomers) have adapted to technology. With this adaptation has come a different level of connectiveness and communication which makes them the most unique group of seniors the world has ever seen.

Having witnessed some of the most extraordinary levels of change in our history, this generation has a massive amount to give.

They’re not doddering fools. They aren’t sitting at home waiting to die. And they sure as hell aren’t interested in wasting the rest of the life they have left to live.

They are healthy, wealthy and wise.

There’s no doubt that there is incredible value in the combination of well earned wisdom and youthful exuberance. I’m constantly on the look out for these ‘senior moments’ when I have an opportunity to develop something that would simply not be possible without the 2 halves of the circle.

When I was 21 and started Jack in the box, I would often get asked why I would want my old man around. The truth is, it simply wouldn’t be as fun without him.

While some would have you think that it’s the government’s desire to save money that drives people to work longer, I’d like to think that there is a shift in thinking around the value that ‘seniors’ can bring to business. There’s something to be said for people that grew up around things like ‘real customer service’ and ‘hard times’…