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In the third of her series of articles on business archetypes everyone needs to start paying attention to over the next few years, Megan Bernstein takes a look at the ‘no-ager’. According to holistic branding agency ITI, the people within this archetype have vigour and enthusiasm for their jobs no matter what their age. Given that countries around the world are increasing the age of retirement, it makes sense for businesses to do everything in their power to find people within this archetype.
When looking at the no-ager, it’s worth bearing in mind that these are the people that reframing what it means to be old. Despite their actual age, these people don’t box themselves into an age category and approach life and technology with as much enthusiasm as a 21-year-old.
The added advantage of the no-ager is that they have a wealth of life experience that younger people simply don’t.
One of the best explanations of this archetype is this clip below, which predicts what this generation could look like in the future:
The no-ager doesn’t feel challenged by working with different generations. In fact, they thrive on it. They refuse to comply with who society thinks they should be — how they should behave, what they should wear and the type of work they should do.
If one were to think of a stylish granny, or that distinguished gentleman you see around the office who probably knows more about what’s happening in terms of innovation that you do — that’s a no-ager.
Betty White is a perfect example of the no-ager. One could say she has launched herself into a second career, where she almost pokes fun at the fact that she has reached such an impressive age, yet is still able to capture the attention and the hearts of generations across the spectrum.
Where the no ager can add value
Because this archetype is, let’s face it, a lot older than the average business person, they have a lot more experience and knowledge to draw upon. Sure, they didn’t grow up in a time of fast and furious tech — but they have bridged the gap and often are able to see things from a different perspective.
Does this impact brands?
For businesses and companies its important to keep this archetype in mind. One of the big reasons is that because no-agers are older, and have been through more life challenges and experience, they are likely to have set themselves up and be pretty comfortable in terms of their financial situation.
These are the 50-plus guys travelling around the world and starting second lives or second careers. They have disposable income and they are taking the time out to enjoy it.
For companies, it’s important not to overlook this demographic because although they’re not the typical hipster they are still buying the latest technology. They are still super trendy in their dress sense, and they still want to be as up-to-date with the world around them as they can.
Brands often discount the elderly because they think they have bowed out of society. For the no-ager, the complete opposite is true and they have probably become more immersed in the world and tech than some of the younger generations. Why? Often because they have reached the point where they have more available time, and money, to enjoy these things.
That said, many of them are still a strong part of the workforce and as businesses it’s critical that the no-ager is not overlooked. Messaging and communication needs to be thought through and ensure that it does not exclude them.