Grey market shows huge potential for brands

A shift of mindset among the elderly has brought created a huge market, according to the latest report from OMD China.

The agency has released the third report of its Rhythm series, Modern Greys Rediscover Themselves, a quantitative and qualitative research study that explores the elderly of China. With the rapid development of Chinese economy, the lifestyle and mindset of the elderly have changed. They have started to focus on themselves, rediscovering the lives they were unable to live in their youth.

With the aid of China National Resident Survey, BAT data and industry reports, we have found that the current generation of 60 plus-year-olds cared little about their needs in their youth due to hardship, and dedicated almost all of their energy into their only child. However, their children have now flown the coop and with only 50% still living together, the ‘Modern Greys’ time is now their own.

88% of Greys have a pension in China. In 2014, the average monthly income per urban household for them reached 7,350 RMB. Expenditure accounted for 45% of this, increasing by 50% than 2010.

“This means that most elderly Chinese have a regular basic income and they are more than willing to spend that money,” said by Yuki Xi, business intelligence director, OMD China.

“This is an entirely different picture from a few years ago when the elderly were more used to saving money instead of spending it.”

Bhasker Jaiswal, managing partner of business intelligence, OMD China, said that brands need to know more about this potential market to better understand the elders’ consumption patterns and helps to open the “Grey Market”.

The report highlights:

(1) The “Grey market” is here to stay. More brands need to take heed of this market and provide richer products and service for the Greys.

(2) Good quality not low price. Low-priced products are no longer the first choice for Greys. Brands which provide good quality products for the Greys will win their share of wallet.

(3) Engage with them by being helpful and convenient, strengthen the bonds with emotion. An “understanding” and “helpful” brand image will help to impress the Greys.

(4) TV and social media are important platforms for building brand awareness and reputation.