There is a certain inevitability about the subject but ‘Marketing to our Future Selves’ proved to be a popular subject during presentations at this year’s Bathroom and Kitchen Business Conference. Key industry decision makers attended the event which surprised many with its quality and depth of discussions.
The ‘grey market’ was just one of the topics on the agenda and Mat Hunter, Chief Design Officer at the Design Council which champions the use of design and architecture to improve lives, developed the discussion which had manufacturers totally absorbed.
Mat suggested that we were sitting on what he described as a ‘demographic time bomb’. The population in the UK is expanding and growing older with the 85+ age group set to double in the next 25 years.
This, he regarded, was an opportunity too good to miss. But the UK Bathroom and Kitchen industry was doing just that – missing it!
The grey market has not been tackled by designers and manufacturers with sufficient seriousness. Certainly there are products out there that are well designed and look good. But they are subject to a ‘failure of marketing.’ There is insufficient choice and prices are too high.
The UK industry needs to wake up to the challenges which the aging population is creating and with an injection of creative thinking manufacturers will both supply the growing the need and, in turn, satisfy their shareholders.