The silver generation, meaning people aged 50 and above, is considered a blue ocean for marketers because of their high spending and brand loyalty, though it remains an untapped market, says marketing firm SilverActif Co.
Thailand is among the top three nations globally in terms of growth of its elderly population, with this age group expected to post the highest growth over the next five years, said Wanna Swuddigul, the company's chief executive and co-founder.
She said people aged 60 and older stood at 12.6 million -- 19% of the total population of 66 million -- as of 2022. This group will rise to 23% of the population in 2025 and 26% by 2030, said Ms Wanna.
She said people aged 50-59 are "preparing to get old", while those 60 and older are eager to repair their health.
Seniors can be categorised by their lifestyles including an interest in fashion and style, freedom to travel, health concerns, wealth and high savings levels, and being active online.
In addition, some are physically active, while others prefer to stay at home or are bedridden.
SilverActif, in collaboration with Chulalongkorn Business School and the Thailand Management Association, conducted a survey of 400 seniors in the country.
The study found that when facing health problems, 71% of the silver generation adjust their diet, 55% take up exercise, 48% visit the doctor and 44% take more vitamins.
"The silver gen is a blue ocean market with high demand but low supply. Many brands still think if they tap this segment, this will make the brands look old," said Ms Wanna.
Brands can launch new product lines and communicate with this group, she added.
The highest potential market is those aged 50-69 as they have high purchasing power and are willing to spend to reward themselves, she said. They place more importance on value, quality and brand than on price.
Ms Wanna estimated that silver gen consumers spend about 20,000-30,000 baht per month.
"This segment also has brand loyalty, unlike the younger generations that often switch brands," she said.
The survey noted factors determing purchases are the quality and safety of products and services, and distribution channels that know the buyer well. Other factors include warranties, value for money and trusted sales services.
In terms of shopping behaviour, they shop at department stores, markets, online channels and pharmacies.
Health insurance, small-size products for single customers, restaurants that have facilities for elderly people and packages that are easy to unwrap are among their key interests.
In terms of communication, the silver gen are active online. Females mostly use Facebook, while males spend time on YouTube. In general most of them use Line to chat with family and friends.
Online has became the most used channel among silvers and their browsing on Facebook surpassed watching TV, but TV is still the main channel for those over 66.
"The silver gen is a new landscape and requires strategic moves to tap. Silver consumers are evolving and changing fast and marketers need to act now," Ms Wanna said.
She said there is still a gap between young marketers and older consumers which needs to be addressed. The company can bridge the gap by providing strategic consulting and effective communication for brands wanting to target this segment.
The firm also has a social media channel, CountUp, featuring content related to the silver gen with over 200,000 followers.
It also provides training for silver gen members who are interested in becoming content creators and influencers or so-called CountUp friends.