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Interested in Attracting Older Consumers?

Sheridan College, Elder Consumer, Oakville News
Sheridan College, Elder Consumer, Oakville News

Have you ever wondered how to capture the attention of older consumers and maintain their loyalty?  Who influences their purchasing decisions?  What impact does physiological aging have on their consumer habits? Questions like these will be at the heart of a one-day, interactive summit aimed at helping companies better interact with the growing, mature market segment.

Vastly different from a typical sit-and-listen affair, participants are expected to bring their ideas and existing marketing strategies to the session, which they’ll critique in real-time using lessons learned from the day.  They’ll also be challenged to identify and confront their own perceptions and potential biases about aging through a workbook they’ll be expected to complete before the Summit begins.  Opportunities also exist to speak with older consumers on site and hear their preferences first hand.

Experts who will share their views include keynote speaker Dick Stroud, from the UK-based consultancy 20plus30.  As Stroud explains in the video, he will share his process for consulting with businesses looking to target this market and the many touch-points that must be considered to achieve success.

A number of other panel members will share their first-hand experiences in catering to this market, including Chris Wiegand, CEO of Jibestream whose technology company has been working on a variety of applied research projects with Sheridan’s Centre for Elder Research – the host of the summit –  since 2011 to create best practices for interactive and digital wayfinding solutions that work with older clients. “A key learning was to focus less on creating features and functions that were targeted to accessibility, and more on creating a holistic approach based on inclusive design” said Wiegand.

Jibestream is applying lessons learned from working with the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research on a current project to provide the software for a 65-inch touch screen that will be used at one of the venues for the Toronto 2015 PanAm Games – the Whitby Abilities Centre.  “We’ve incorporated important accessibility features such as colour contrast for the visually impaired and a font size enlarger tool. The touch screen will include outdoor wayfinding with a private Google Maps API integration – but we control the maps – so we’re only listing near-by restaurants if they have accessible washrooms.  It’s a social approach to influencing inclusivity.”

The Age Aware Summit aligns with the mandate of the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research to conduct applied research into areas of practical concern and immediate relevance to older Canadians. The centre operates in an environment in which older adults from the community not only participate in research but contribute to its direction.  To register for the conference, please send an email to: or register online at