“Much has been made about China's young big spenders. Some companies, though, see an even bigger business opportunity in the country's 40-somethings, and they are shaping their marketing to fit.
So while fashion brands such as Jimmy Choo and Louis Vuitton have found Korean soap operas and their youthful stars a potent tool for attracting their target consumers—the young and fashion-conscious—businesses selling bigger-ticket items, such as houses and private-banking services, are tapping into the power of older stars. Last year, UBS AG arranged a private performance in Guangzhou by Hong
Kong pop singer Sally Yeh, 52 years old, and her mustached star spouse, George Lam, 66, for clients.
Not all older Chinese are susceptible to the marketer's call. Some, having known hardship in their youth, are resistant to personal indulgence even though they can afford it. So how to reach them? The path is through their children, who are often willing to pay for their pampering. Journeys by Chance, a travel startup targeting the high end of the market, reports strong demand from young Hong Kong professionals for three-week trips to Europe for their parents. Selling points for the package, which runs $12,800 a head, include a high staff-to-traveler ratio—reassuring for seniors who speak little English and aren't used to traveling abroad.
China is getting old fast. The good news is, these pensioners will be richer than any prior such group in China. Household savings of those age 60 and over will hit $1.3 trillion in 2017, almost twice the 2012 level, according to projections from consulting firm Ageing Asia Pte Ltd. That doesn't even take into account assets such as homes. People often talk about senior homes as the next big growth area. In fact, the opportunity is much broader than that. Dressing, feeding, housing and entertaining China's new generation of retirees will be a very big business.”