Article

Unwrapping senior consumers' packaging experiences

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of older consumers with a range of product packaging. Design/methodology/approach – The study uses qualitative diary research (QDR). Ten seniors recorded all their experiences with packaging over a two-week period. Using a frame narrative that views ageing as multidimensional, diary entries uncover rich data that goes beyond physical age-related issues. Findings – In addition to physical problems with packaging, older adults experience psychological frustration and feelings of alienation. Social implications of dependence on others are also discovered, despite many being purchasers of up-market luxury products. Research limitations/implications – The study is exploratory and due to its qualitative methodology findings cannot be generalised to the wider population. Nevertheless it provides a starting point for future research into packaging and senior consumers. Practical implications – The study has implications for all managers who participate in planning and designing brand packaging and calls for them to work more closely with ergonomics and design professionals in order to better plan for the needs of a large and growing sector of the population. Social implications – Findings suggest that the basic need to feed oneself is hampered by some packaging, which of course is detrimental to the quality of life of older adults. Originality/value – Few studies consider packaging and older consumers and this is particularly true in the marketing literature. This is the first study to use QDR in this context, and as such has several advantages over recall studies. The study also makes a contribution to knowledge pertaining to vulnerable consumers.

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Contemporary marketing is commonly characterized by the marketing concept which enjoins marketers to determine the wants and needs of customers and then to try to satisfy them. This view is standardly developed, not surprisingly, in terms of normal or ordinary consumers. Much less frequently is attention given to the vulnerable customers whom marketers also (and increasingly) target. Though marketing to normal consumers raises many moral questions, marketing to the vulnerable also raises many moral questions which are deserving of greater attention. This paper has three objectives. First, it explores the notion of vulnerability which a target audience might (or might not) have. I argue that we must distinguish those who are specially vulnerable from normal individuals, as well as the susceptible and the disadvantaged - two other groups often distinguished in marketing literature. Second, I contend that marketing to the specially vulnerable requires that marketing campaigns be designed to ensure that these individuals are not treated unfairly, and thus possibly harmed. Third, I maintain that marketing programs which violate this preceding injunction are unethical or unscrupulous whether or not those targeted are harmed in some further manner. Accordingly, social control over marketing to the vulnerable cannot simply look to consumer injury as the measure of unfair treatment of the vulnerable.
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WITHDRAWN: Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 77-100. DOI 10.1177/1558689806292430 Article withdrawn by publisher. Due to an administrative error, this article was accidentally published OnlineFirst and in Volume 1 Issue 1 of publishing year 2007 with different DOIs and different page numbers. The incorrect version of the article with DOI: 10.1177/2345678906292430 has been replaced with this correction notice. The correct and citable version of the article remains: Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 77-100. DOI 10.1177/1558689806292430
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This paper assesses the relationship between self-reported fashion apparel innovativeness and opinion leadership, as well as these two traits' association with a wide variety of consumer variables for both male and female samples. Evidence was found that fashion innovativeness and opinion leadership function differently in male and female populations. Also, within each sex a wide variety of differing correlate traits were established for both innovativeness and opinion leadership.
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The author argues that certain unethical and anticonsumer business practices are accepted by some in business as part of the normal functioning of a market economy. The author argues that marketing professionals have a professional and ethical responsibility to ensure that their work contributes to a fair and just marketplace.
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With the population of older consumers increasing and with the recent changes in legislation and attitudes towards this group, there have been corresponding changes n product design practice and a growing attempt to adopt an inclusive design approach. This recognises that people can become excluded from using products, services or environments if the needs and capabilities of all potential users are not taken into account. The inclusive design approach has developed from collaborations between industry, designers and researchers. One major influence in this area is the i~design project, whose definition is simply that “inclusive design is better design” (EDC, 2011). The Inclusive Design Toolkit website, a key output from the i~design project, states that a successful product must be “functional, usable, desirable and ultimately profitable” and that a key to good design is to reduce the demand on the user when capabilities decline with age or disability (EDC, 2011)
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There has been little research conducted into packaging design recommendations aimed at helping older people understand how to open novel packaging. When developing novel packaging, designers may use their own judgment to provide indications for package opening. Despite this, age-related decline brings about further design needs. Therefore, packaging created by designers may not, at present, be fully appropriate for older people. The study used a participatory methodology which provided rich insights into the process of interaction with novel packaging. Detailed experiential data was collected during participant engagement in opening a range of packaging samples. A combination of qualitative and quantitative data from focus groups further informed the study. Specific relationships between 2D and 3D indications, which appear not to have been previously considered, were examined through semi-structured face to face interviews. The study produced new insights into the use of combined 2D and 3D indications by older people when opening packaging. Both 2D and 3D indications should be combined to present four types of information for package opening. These are: 1) hand positions, 2) hand actions, 3) hand directions and 4) confirmation of both how to open packaging and whether the packaging has been successfully opened. The indications should be provided in three different groups: 1) to fully explain package opening methods, 2) to trigger older peoples' prior experience of similar package opening methods and 3) to explain particular information for package opening.
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Building on existing frameworks (customer-based brand equity, consumer-brand relationships, product symbolism/self concept), this paper forwards packaging as a product-related attribute critical to the creation and communication of brand identity. Packaging is posited to influence brand and self-identity via a dual resource base (mediated and lived experience); a conceptual positioning variant from the traditional single symbolic resource base (mediated experience) provided by advertising. This conceptual distinction is examined and data from an exploratory qualitative study are provided to illustrate the powerful role of packaging in communicating brand meaning and strengthening the consumer-brand relationship, especially for low involvement consumer nondurable products.
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PowerMaster was a malt liquor which Heileman Brewing Company sought to market to inner-city blacks in the early 1990s. Due to widespread opposition, Heileman ceased its marketing of PowerMaster. This paper begins by exploring the moral objections of moral illusion, moral insensitivity and unfair advantage brought against Heileman’s marketing campaign. Within the current market system, it is argued that none of these criticism was clearly justified. Heileman might plausibly claim it was fulfilling its individual moral responsibilities. Instead, Heileman’s marketing program must be viewed as part of a group of marketing programs which all targeted inner-city blacks. It is argued that those marketers who target this particular market segment constitute a group which is collectively responsible for the harms imposed by their products on inner-city blacks. This responsibility is reducible neither to individual responsibility nor to a shared responsibility. It constitutes a dimension of moral responsibility to which marketers must pay attention.
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Overview The Older Consumer Market Characteristics of Older Consumers Aging and Age-Related Changes Understanding Changes in Late Life The Older Consumer as an Information Processor Lifestyles Mass Media Use Expenditure and Consumption Patterns Shopping Behavior Product Acquisition and Consumption Vulnerability and Dis/Satisfaction Conclusions and Recommendations
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Marketing scholars are becoming more concerned with the impact of their discipline on the development of human well-being. The study of quality-of-life (QOL) is a means to that end. The marketing effort in QOL research has been unsystematic and fragmented. An attempt is made in this conceptual paper to (1) review selected marketing research in QOL, (2) introduce a theoretical framework which synthesizes QOL constructs, and (3) suggest possible measurements of those QOL constructs.
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Three different measures of cognitive age were administered to a sample of 355 older adults. Cognitive age was found to be a potentially valuable concept for advertising targeting, creative decisions and media selection, when used in conjunction with chronological age. Among the three different measures of cognitive age, the age-decade scale proved to be the best because, compared with the other two measures, it is easy to administer, analyze and interpret.
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The objective of this study was to understand how food packaging can influence children's attitudes and purchase decisions toward healthier choices. The appealing components of junk food packaging were transferred onto healthy food in order to test its effect on children's package evaluation, attention to packaging attitude toward the product, perceived healthiness and purchase intention. A structured questionnaire was completed by a sample of 408 Portuguese children aged between 10 and 14 years. Findings suggest that food packaging can influence children's attitudes and purchase intentions. These results should be considered by food companies that target children and aim at improving their dietary habits. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This paper presents the results of the first content analysis of the inclusion and portrayal of older models (50+) in UK prime-time television advertising. Findings suggest that older models are not portrayed as stereotypically old. However, as a whole, and in particular women, they are still under-represented in major roles, and there is an apparent reluctance by marketers in some product categories to portray older models at all.
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The aim of the present work was to study the interaction between sensory and non-sensory characteristics that influence the overall acceptance and perceived healthiness of enriched biscuits and/or biscuits with reduced levels of high energy components. Three different scenarios (blind, informed and expected conditions) were analyzed. The participants mapped the samples in Napping® tests and rated the overall acceptance and perceived healthiness of ten biscuits. The results showed that overall acceptance was higher for almost all the biscuits in the blind test, whereas seeing only the package showed a trend towards higher perceived healthiness, suggesting that non-sensory factors could influence the first buy and sensory characteristics could determine loyalty and repeat consumption of certain enriched or reduced-calorie biscuits. It was observed that participants were not willing to compromise sensory characteristics for health even though they considered that some food components were beneficial for the diet. The study showed how sensory and non-sensory cues interact to build consumer perception and how, depending on the particular product, parameters like the brand, category, familiarity with the product, familiarity with the claim or sensory profile can influence product assessment (acceptance and healthiness perception) in different ways.
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On-package graphics have the potential to influence consumers’ product-related attitudes and behaviours. In the reported study graphics designs on the labels of two products (water and vodka) were manipulated with respect to shape angularity, orientation, and left–right alignment. Participants’ evaluations indicated a preference for rounded shapes that could not be accounted for by differences in design typicality; and preference for upward shape orientation. An interaction between these response variables for ratings of purchase likelihood suggested that congruence between graphical and product form (droplet shape) may be advantageous. Effects of alignment were not consistent with existing theories, with right-aligned graphics being preferred. An explanation that distinguishes processing efficiency and hemispheric efficiency is proposed. Finally, as predicted, a halo effect was apparent, such that effects of aesthetic manipulations extended to ratings of product attributes that were not experienced. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
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The number of years a person has lived is a poor indicator of their self-perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. For these reasons, gerontologists have looked to alternative measures of age, including self-perceived or subjective age. While American researchers have built up a body of knowledge pertaining to self-perceived age for more than half a century, little is known about the concept in the UK. This paper presents the findings of an empirical study into the self-perceived age of a group of UK citizens (n = 356) aged 50-79 (mean age 60.2 years). Using the cognitive age scale, respondents were asked how old they perceived themselves to be on the dimensions of feel, look, act and interests. Overall, respondents indicated a self-perceived age of more than 10 years younger than their chronological age. These results suggest that the phenomenon is at least as extensive as in the US, where it is frequently argued that youth is valued over age. Policy and practice implications are discussed.
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Older age is normatively associated with losses in physical, cognitive, and social domains. Despite these losses, older adults often report higher levels of well-being than do younger adults. How can we explain this enhancement of well-being? In this article, we consider one possible explanation, namely, that older adults show enhanced emotion regulation. Specifically, we propose that older adults achieve well-being by selecting and optimizing particular emotion regulation processes to compensate for changes in internal and external resources. With this framework in mind, we suggest several directions for future research.
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This paper introduces a series of papers on various areas of functional age: biochemical, auditory, anthropometric, psychological and social. These measures were developed in the V.A. Normative Aging Study to assist in the interdisciplinary analysis of aging and change in aging patterns over time. A functional age is taken as the estimated age calculated from a regression equation where the x values are predictors of chronological age.
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This article presents a discussion of mixed methods (MM) sampling techniques. MM sampling involves combining well-established qualitative and quantitative techniques in creative ways to answer research questions posed by MM research designs. Several issues germane to MM sampling are presented including the differences between probability and purposive sampling and the probability-mixed-purposive sampling continuum. Four MM sampling prototypes are introduced: basic MM sampling strategies, sequential MM sampling, concurrent MM sampling, and multilevel MM sampling. Examples of each of these techniques are given as illustrations of how researchers actually generate MM samples. Finally, eight guidelines for MM sampling are presented.
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To identify the key determinants of consumer attention to nutrition labels, visual search tasks (present –absent; one – two targets) were used as an effective experimental tool. The main manipulation concerned: set size (number of labels on front of pack); label characteristics (display size, position of the label on front-of-pack, colour scheme); and familiarity with type of the label and its location on the front of pack.Attention capture was faster and more accurate when the label was present rather than absent, with doubled rather than standard display size, and with mono- rather than polychromatic colouring. There was performance benefit when the type of label and its location on the package did not change in two consecutive exposures, suggesting that nutrition logos should be printed in a consistent location on the package.The results confirm our hypotheses that display size, colour scheme, familiarity with the label and its location on the front of the pack are key determinants of consumer attention to labels. These findings are crucial to better understanding consumer attention to labels and thus the impact of nutrition information on healthy food choice.
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Consumer vulnerability has long been an important issue in public policy and macromarketing. The focus of a special issue of the Journal of Macromarketing (vol. 26, issue 1) underscores this importance. The articles in that special issue lend both conceptual and methodological clarity to the subject of consumer vulnerability, thus bringing to the fore the hitherto overlooked importance of this construct. The purpose of this article is to extend this renewed interest by introducing an integrative view of consumer vulnerability that is a sum of two components: a transient, state-based component dominant in some of the articles in the special issue, and a systemic, class-based component. The proposition is that such an integrative view provides a proactive tool for macromarketers and policy makers in their efforts to safeguard and to empower vulnerable consumers.
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Important macromarketing issues in the twenty-first century include consumer vulnerability, consumer empowerment, immigration, and acculturation. In the United States, the absolute number and percentage of the foreign-born population continues to increase as does the number of people, indicating a non-English primary language spoken in their homes. This large, growing population segment with limited English language abilities faces higher chances of encountering marketplace imbalances. Accordingly, we expand the model of Baker, Gentry, and Rittenburg of consumer vulnerability to capture a dynamic, reflexive marketplace experienced by limited English proficient (LEP) consumers. The integration of a pivotal piece of acculturation research by Berry et al. drives the development of generalized systems diagrams depicting how LEP consumer vulnerability is enacted and facilitates increased understanding of the emergent phenomenon. Potential research questions are identified and organized using the framework of Layton and Grossbart to better position and inform future macromarketing and public policy research.
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This chapter examines people's perceptions of individuals of different ages and the social and psychological consequences of these age-related judgments. The chapter considers age as a salient and significant component of social judgments. It essentially describes the nature of the physical information that differentiates people on the basis of age and exhibit that social perceivers are very sensitive to this information, using it not only to identify a person's age but also to categorize people and to guide interpersonal behavior. Moreover, the chapter reviews the age-overgeneralization effects that can contribute in significant ways both to first impressions of people and to certain group stereotypes. It also examines the influence of age-based social judgments on people's social outcomes as well as their psychological development. The role of age in people's self-identities is explored in the chapter. The chapter concludes with the discussion of consequences of age, by considering the relative impact of age-related indications on social judgments in comparison to other factors.
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Biomechanical data may be used to inform the design process to ensure Inclusive Design. Yet many products are clearly not designed inclusively, one possible reason being that biomechanical data are not used, is not available or offers insufficient benefits to merit integration into the design process. This study investigates designers’ use of biomechanical data to inform the process of Inclusive Design in the consumer packaging industry. Packaging design professionals were interviewed to elicit information regarding their use of biomechanical data and to establish if they followed Inclusive Design principles. Biomechanical data were collected using observational study and customised force and motion measurement tools. Finally, biomechanical data were presented to the designers to establish the best/preferred format for use in the design process. Biomechanical data were rarely used by the designers and Inclusive Design principles were not routinely incorporated into company procedures. There was clear preference for visual data with imagery of real subjects. Most quantitative force and motion data formats were considered to be unsuitable for routine use due to commercial priorities and lack of technical appreciation. The use of biomechanical testing to develop standards to allow Inclusive Design may be the way forward.
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Engineering designers often see themselves as ‘solution providers’, but there is an emerging need to change this mindset towards ‘user-led innovation’. Inclusive design, as one of the many user-centred design approaches, has the potential to help students appreciate user capabilities, needs, and expectations: a first step towards user-led innovation. This paper discusses approaches to the teaching of inclusive design at degree levels. A number of the challenges of teaching inclusive design to undergraduate students are identified. Three pilot studies are illustrated, focusing on (1) effective user research methods in large class teaching, (2) involving end-users and different disciplines in the design process; and (3) developing case studies based on successful major projects (final year design projects). Next, strategies for teaching inclusive design are proposed. This paper offers practical recommendations in incorporating inclusive design teaching into different levels of design and engineering programmes, which is critical in the training of future designers capable of ‘user-led innovation’.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study how packaging and packaging design can contribute to competitive advantage for marketing a consumer product. Design/methodology/approach – Different influences from actors in the packaging design process are discussed in a conceptual model. A single case study based on five “corporate stories” about packaging development resulting in a new package are presented and analysed. Findings – The present study demonstrates influences on the design process of a package from external and internal factors. The outcome of the design process is, to a great extent, dependent on the interaction between the main actors in this process. The study argues for the importance of the interaction with customers for planning and conducting the design. The result of such a process is a package that can trigger customers make a purchase and/or re-inforce the brand name for a re-purchase of the product. Practical implications – The main implications for management are that packaging is a vital instrument in modern marketing activities for consumer goods, for example in the competitive food industry. The study highlights a few factors that trigger a customer to purchase a product by designing a suitable package for the product. Packaging design makes it possible to introduce new and better solutions for diverse marketing and logistic problems in a supply chain. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need for contributions to more research on packaging and marketing strategy.
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Purpose – Current stereotypes of aging consumers paint a picture of them as technology anxious and reluctant to adopt new technologies. This paper aims to show that the present 50-to-60 age group does not fit these stereotypes. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 620 Finnish baby boomers (aged between 50 and 60) responded to a mail survey. Findings – Baby boom consumers are shown, in contrast to the stereotypes, to have low levels of technology anxiety and high levels of experience of internet and SMS usage. It is also shown that technology anxiety and experience have an inverse relationship in the age group. Research limitations/implications – To some extent, the results provide evidence of the distortedness of current stereotypes that are used to describe 50-plus consumers. However, data was gathered only in one country. Replications of this study in different countries would allow drawing broader conclusions. Practical implications – Marketers of technological products and services are advised to let go of the outdated stereotypes, familiarize themselves with today's 50-plus consumers and when applicable, invest effort in serving this market. Originality/value – While there exists some research on aging consumers as Internet users, this study offers a more general view on aging consumers and their use of technological services by examining technology anxiety within this specific market. The results should be of value to both academicians and practitioners in realizing the potential of the mature market.
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This article discusses the use of focus groups when interviewing lower socioeconomic status Latina women in some areas of New York City and northern New Jersey. Drawing from the author's research experience, the article discusses the use of focus groups within the framework of feminist methodology, the author's experience with the use of focus groups in studying the fear of crime, and some of the issues faced by the author related to narrowing the gap between the researcher and the participants and creating together ness among the interviewees.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to draw the attention of managers and academics to the extent of demographic changes now occurring in the European Union, specifically the ongoing change from a young consumer base to one in which most adult consumers are aged over 50. It seeks to explain the nature of the challenge and highlight the need for further research. Design/methodology/approach – Both academic and practitioner sources are synthesised in order to identify and describe the issues, and explore the actions that could be taken to adapt to and profit from the changing demographic environment. Findings – Current marketing practice evolved against the background of the post-war baby boom, a demographic aberration which resulted in an exceptional era during which consumer markets were dominated by youth, and marketing practice by advertising and other promotional activity. The paper also argues that the subsequent ageing of the consumer base will require businesses to place more emphasis on the customer-centric model of marketing generally espoused by management scientists. Practical implications – The paper identifies a major shift in the demographic base of consumer markets, outlines the implications for marketing practice and proposes ways in which businesses can adapt. Originality/value – The overwhelming majority of discussion on, and research into, the phenomenon of population ageing and its impact on markets originates from the USA, despite the fact that Europe faces a far greater challenge. The paper alerts both academics and practitioners to the nature and scale of the demographic change occurring in the European Union, discusses appropriate corporate responses and calls for further research into the neglected area of older consumers.
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Purpose – The increasing internationalisation and globalisation of business has forced many firms to reconsider what contributes to their competitive advantage. Despite the importance of packaging it is rather anonymous and has received little or marginal research. The purpose of this paper is to study how packaging can contribute to competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach – Aspects of the packing industry and market are reviewed. Five case studies covering different packages in the supply chain are presented and analysed. Findings – Structural changes within the European food industry are reinforcing a need for competitiveness where packaging can make the difference for many consumer products. The findings from the case studies and the literature review underscore the importance of packaging and packaging design for fulfilling multi-functions in relation to logistics and marketing in the supply chain from filler to end consumer. New demands due to changes in consumption patterns and habits are requiring innovative packaging solutions in retail outlets. Practical implications – The main implications for management is to understand and take advantage of packaging as a strategic weapon and marketing tool for the entire business, especially within a highly competitive food industry. This is important in every stage of the supply chain either for the transport packaging or as a consumer package in the supermarket. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need for recognising the importance of packaging in business strategy.
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Based on a survey of 290 consumer and industrial goods manufacturers in the Continental USA, examines the green packaging actions, attitudes and future plans of firms. The findings suggest that companies are not setting up green programs entirely on some mechanical model, such as “consumers demand, therefore we go green”; they work from a clear picture of their own economic wellbeing. For large firms, the primary reasons for engaging in green tend to be consumer pressure, the desire for better community relations and cost considerations. For smaller companies, the highest priority is given to cost, followed by customer request, fear of governmental intervention and the desire to reduce garbage. For mid-size companies, the primary concerns are the desire for a pro- active stance within the community, competition and foreign countries’ regulations.
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Purpose – The purpose of this research was to test the statement. “All older people are the same” and answer the question if professional and social activity play an important role in dividing the respondents into different segments in the field of apparel shopping. We examined seven aspects of apparel consumer behaviour: where do our respondents buy apparel and how often in each retail place, do they like shopping, how often they buy apparel, how much they spend, who/what influence them to buy, who/how influence on their clothing style and other statements about consumer behaviour related with apparel. Design/methodology/approach – First, the results of 271 older consumers of apparel through multiplicity sample were collected. Then an a priori segmentation based on social and professional activity was conducted. Findings – Based on the survey, it can be concluded that it is not true that “all older people are the same”, as far, as the apparel business is concerned. The population observed is not homogeneous, although the differences are not so obvious and numerous as one could expect. Research limitations/implications – This paper demonstrates a simple a priori segmentation based on professional and social activities of respondents. In further research it is inevitably to compare results with a posteriori segmentation based on cluster analysis or discriminant analysis. Practical implications – The results are useful for product, place, price, and promotion management and through this for planning differential marketing mixes for separate older consumer segments. Originality/value – The value of this article is to extend our knowledge in the field of apparel behaviour of older consumers, and to demonstrate how useful could be just two simple questions (about professional and social activities) in differentiating older consumers regarding apparel behaviour.