In honor of Jeff Jarvis

In honor of Jeff Jarvis: As Jeff reached a certain demographic yesterday, I thought he might enjoy a letter-to-the-editor response to an earlier piece by Tom Hespos
that appeared on MediaPost.com regarding “aging and the influence of the Internet.”

Here’s a sample of Tom’s earlier essay:

Why do mass market brands try their best to forge brand loyalty at a young age? There are two main reasons: 1) A brand that appeals to older folks can count on less revenue over the lifetime of the consumer, simply due to attrition. 2) Consumers tend to form brand loyalties at an early age, and once loyalty is cemented, it becomes harder for a competitor to encourage switching behavior.

Today, a letter from Jon Currie was posted that displays how common-sense typically trumps branding-theory mumbo-jumbo.

Quote:

Hey Tom. I’m 57. Nobody wants my money. Too bad. I’m thinking about buying a new car right now. I live in a million dollar townhouse in Santa Monica and three other properties. My wife is 55; she just went back to school to become a principal to earn more money. Guess we’ll have to just save it all up. We just booked a vacation to Puerto Vallarta at the best hotel. Too bad e-commerce folks don’t want us. BTW, we just paid $200 bucks to see Simon and Garfunkel at the Hollywood Bowl with 10,000 of our best friends, all over 50. We all drove there in Beemers, Caddies, Benzes, etc. Your key demo was there too, providing valet service and serving us drinks. Marketers, just tell me who wants my money, I’ll show up. If you think I’m dead, so will your business be in 5 years. Us over 50’s control over half of the wealth in this country. Get used to it or lose.

While Jeff and I aren’t quite ready for AARP, we’re close enough to catch Jon’s drift.

  • bhudgins

    Jon Currie’s planning to spend that money without being overly cossetted by advertisers, right? So why indeed should advertisers target us going-on-geezerdom types?

  • Tom Hespos

    To be perfectly fair, my article didn’t mean to suggest that marketers SHOULD target younger folks and ignore the older set (they shouldn’t). Rather, I was pointing out the reasons why marketers tend to do so. I don’t agree with the prevailing marketing wisdom, for exactly the reasons the letter writer pointed out.