Traveling With A Disability – It CAN Be Done

For many years people who were suffering from disabilities whether minor or more serious might have thought it best to avoid vacations like cruises, for the simple reason that they felt it might be too dangerous or that their specialist needs and requirements for safety and comfort might not be met. Nowadays, it’s pleasing to report that all of that is changing and more and more cruise liners and companies are putting the effort into making sure that people with mobility issues are well catered for and made to feel that they can have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation that is as stress free and pleasant as possible.

It’s important that you take responsibility for your needs, think ahead and forward plan for your trip. You’ll need to consider the type of room you’ll need, whether it will need to have any adaptation made to it and also whether you’ll be allowed to take things like a mobility scooter or wheelchair on board with you. These days most cruise liners will allow both, but they will need to be made aware of this well in advance of you traveling.

Some cruise liners have specially adapted rooms – these can actually be up to fifty percent larger than regular cabins for travelers, to allow for specialist equipment to be placed within or changes to be made at short notice. You may also have to contact a reputable, outside agency – very often these can be recommended by your cruise company, to help with mobility equipment such as shower seats, hoists and handrails, or anything else you might need to make the stay on your cruise liner of choice a memorable and happy one.

Written By Guest Blogger: Sally James

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Baby Boomers Continue To Push On Food Labeling

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Baby Boomers Continue To Push On Food Labeling – As baby boomers age, the markets are responding with healthier food choices. Under a new policy enacted by Congress, shoppers will now know where their food comes from (remember, the majority of Congress are now boomers).

According to a recent MSNBC article, “Labels on most fresh meats, along with some fruits, vegetables and other foods, will now list where the food originated. In the case of meats, some labels will list where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.”

To see a corresponding news video, click here.

Look for descriptive labeling and marketing to become more and more important (and more of an art form).

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Will the average human will soon live to be 150+ years old?

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Will we soon live forever? – By now, you probably have heard of researcher Aubrey de Grey. Some call Mr. de Grey a huckster, others call him a visionary. Regardless of what you call him, he is certainly thought provoking. In this TED video he argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted.

Mature Market Experts Gem Of The Day: Boomers and the Wii Fit

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Boomers and the Wii Fit – My wife and I just got a “Nintendo Wii for the kids.” According to the Wii’s virtual fitness trainers on the Wii Fit game, the first time I stepped on the Wii pad, I was 15 years older than my actual age. Pretty disheartening for a guy who’s active and regularly runs marathons. I blame it on my poor balance which the game tends to penalize. Anyway, this morning I tried it again, and knocked it down to just 4 years over my actual age so I’m making progress.

No one should confuse the Wii Fit program for real science or a real cardiovascular workout but there is definitely something to be had with the concept. For example, for someone who has never had anything to do with Yoga or stretching, the Fit introduces some worthwhile drills. Most importantly, it introduces some areas to work on to improve key deficiencies (i.e. falls are the number one cause of hospitalizations among seniors, so balance is definitely worth working on). The Wii is not there yet, but it doesn’t take a genius to see where this technology is headed.

In the meantime, Nintendo … by incorporating the mature market … continues to trounce their competition.

Source: SeattlePI.com

Source: SeattlePI.com

As I’ve mentioned before, When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos centered around Wii bowling at their retirement communities. Definitely worth watching!

Note: The Washington Post did an excellent review on Wii Fit.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Industries

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Retail Industries – I recently read an interesting report by IRI on Boomers and the CPG category that had some interesting stats, charts and findings. IRA segments the mature market in the following way:

iri-cohort-definitions mature market

In addition to the sheer size of this population segment, as you know, the mature market controls the bulk of the nation’s wealth (yes, it’s still true despite our sagging 401Ks). So, here’s what IRI says,

“CPG manufacturers and retailers that view this group as a monolith, do so at their own peril. Market leaders who want to most effectively meet the needs of Boomers, some of whom are in their 60s, others still in their 40s, must identify the distinct and ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of literally hundreds of micro-segments based on income, geography, shopping trip missions, health and wellness and many other factors.

Overlaid with these differences in attitudes and behaviors is the profound transformation the U.S. economy is experiencing at present. Each of these micro-segments is likely to react differently to the rising then falling price of energy, a severely strained financial market, increasing unemployment and decreasing consumer confidence.

There are some broad commonalities among Baby Boomers that are worth noting, however. Approximately two-thirds of Baby Boomers will continue to work after retirement, some out of financial necessity, others from an eagerness to keep active. Baby Boomers, like their Gen X, Gen Y and younger compatriots, use the Internet actively to get information, research products and make purchases online. And, like no generation before, Baby Boomers are relying heavily on CPG products, from food and beverages to vitamins and supplements, for health and vitality. For the packaged goods industry, the opportunity is immense.”

dollar-sales-growth mature market

channel-share mature market

The full report is definitely worth looking at, although I still believe the best marketers avoid the trapping of categorizing their customers even on a micro level. I think it’s far more effective to practice relational marketing. As I’ve blogged before, this incessant labeling overlooks one key fact . . . regardless of age, we are all individuals.

David Wolfe, one of my favorite bloggers and a true expert on aging states in his blog Ageless Marketing:

“Needs drive our behavior. Our need to be physically and mentally comfortable, whole, safe and secure does not change from one generation to the next. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that bundle of needs is the most basic of all needs. Then, our need for love and to be loved never changes from one generation to the next. The same holds true of our need for self-esteem and the esteem of others.
What does change from generation to generation are the ways in which we strive to meet our needs.”

At TR Mann Consulting, we believe we are entering a new age of relational marketing . . . which has less do with age, than it has to do with technology. As ever-improving technology and quality improvement measures level the playing field in most, if not all industries, we are moving to a marketplace where your relationship with your customers is your key competitive advantage (or weakness). Simply put, it’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it. A great brand is a friendship unfolding—with each new interaction marking a new stage in the courtship. Your customer’s behavior and what they tell you as the relationship unfolds are what should be defining what “category” your customer fits in.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Women

CBR001078 Yoga Mature Market Experts

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Mature Market Women – According to research in Marti Barletta’s book, PrimeTime Women™ , 59% of mature market women, 50 to 70 years old, feel that their greatest achievements are still ahead of them.

I couldn’t agree with her more. Let’s see, at 50 a woman is more experienced, wealthier, and more spiritually-centered. And at 50, she is only 1/2 way through her life . . .

This, my friends, is an audience worth serving. And I’m betting that a few of them will be looking for a “Health Sherpa” to maximize those last 50 years!

PS   Want to join Mature Market Experts’ LinkedIn networking group? Click here.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: What’s Your Life Expectancy?

j0438815 mature market experts life expectancy

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – What’s Your Life Expectancy? – This fun/interesting rollover map from MSNBC provides an interactive map of the USA that shows your life expectancy on a state by state basis. What’s your life expectancy? It also has a really neat “National timeline” that shows major health milestones/events that changed history.

Which reminds me, if you haven’t had a chance yet, please review Tom Peters amazing PowerPoint on the state of American healthcare. It took him ten years to create and has some amazing stats and figures. While I don’t agree with everything Tom says, it will definately give you some stuff to think about this weekend. I hope you have a great two days off!