For years communicators have been catering their branding campaigns to the "youthful" demographic, as that audience has been touted as the one that's worth reaching. The idea is for brands to get folks on board while they're young and, subsequently, have them (and their dollars) grow along with the brand.
However, a new study by Anthem Worldwide has found that "Older and Wiser" trumps "Youthfulness" as a communications trend in 2013.
Anthem asked consumers in the U.S., U.K. and China which they believed would be more prominent in 2013: "a youthful spirit" or "an older, wiser soul." More than half of 1,500 total respondents (59%) believe that Older and Wiser will be a more prominent trend than Youthfulness in 2013.
Specifically, U.S. consumers were split between Older and Wiser (49%) and Youthfulness (51%), while consumers in the U.K. and China weighed more towards Older and Wiser—62% in the U.K. and 66% in China.
What does this mean for PR professionals? Perhaps they should put more of a focus on the Baby Boomer generation, many of whom are working into their sixties and are as active and vibrant as ever, with ample budgets to boot.
Make no mistake, in the long-term, youth will still be the prevalent message. But it may just be time for communicators to give "older folks" their due.
Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01