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24 July 2023 (13:35)

Loyalty programs for the Silver Generation: an opportunity for brands?

Loyalty programs for the Silver Generation: an opportunity for brands?

A well-designed loyalty program builds a community of engaged consumers and improves the economics of the company that uses it. Do brands recognize the potential of consumers aged 60+? Check it out in our subjective review.

The geopolitical and economic situation as well as connections in the global village influence consumer decisions. Buyers are increasingly planning their spendings. 73% of consumers believe that a loyalty program is a valuable way for a brand to show its loyalty to a customer (source: KiteWheel).

Portrait of a 60+ consumer

Demographics imply changes in the labour market, which today is occupied by four generations: Baby Boomers (those born from 1943 / 46 / 47 to 1955/60), Generation X (born 1965 to 1980), Generation Y (born in the 1980s and 1990s – years 1980 to 2000), Generation Z (that is, people born after 1995, for whom technology is important). In addition, there is also a discussion of a fifth generation Alpha, which will follow Generation Z. And they grow up in an age of advancing technology, artificial intelligence, a total digital environment. Does this affect the shopping market?

As far as people 60+ are concerned, demographically they are a valuable resource. According to forecasts by the Central Statistical Office, 40% of Poles will be over 60 in 30 years (in 2050). The situation does not apply only to Poland, but to the world. As Carl Honore points out in his publication “Bolder”: “the trend to treat old age as a privilege rather than a punishment is now gaining momentum as a mass movement.” Thus, it may be crucial to manage this group by, among other things, creating the right offer (supported by appropriate, inclusive communication). It will also be important to secure the needs and opportunities of a generation that is still active. Will businesses that offer intuitive, customized solutions benefit from this group of consumers? Like agata Tkaczyk, Director of Qualitative Research at ARC Rynek i Opinia comments on the report “Mature Consumers in Poland” by ARC Rynek i Opinia: “According to forecasts by the Central Statistical Office, there will be nearly 11 million elderly people living in Poland in 2030, 11% more than in 2021. At the same time, year after year we observe how mature consumers change, how their lifestyles change, how their interest in novelties or the use of new technologies grows. Today’s 50-year-olds, so 60-year-olds in 10 years from now, are people who are very comfortable with technology, take care of their physical and mental health, and it can be assumed that they will want to continue their various activities after the age of 60. It can also be expected that many will have the funds to do so. All this makes them an attractive group for many industries, although they may need tailor-made offers for all areas of their lives, from health through shopping to travel or finance. Our survey already challenges many of the stereotypes that have grown up around Seniors, so it is worth dismissing them and continually examining how far these stereotypes coincide with reality.” And how does this situation correspond with loyalty program offerings?

Needs of the Silver Generation

Loyalty programs targeting people 60+ (such as loyalty cards, stickers, discounts) are part of a commercial strategy in the retail industry, for example. It is worth reflecting on the shape of communication that is currently aimed at seniors, treating the 60+ generation as homogeneous in terms of tastes, specifics and characteristics. Today’s activity pattern for this demographic group changes. And the brands should draw attention to this aspect in their communications and the offers they actually create (also in the context of loyalty program design). The 60+ group has an online presence – Influencers and Graninfluencers gather communities around them and passionately engage them. This generation also uses technology (banking apps, e-commerce payments, medical apps). The generation is physically active and wants to stay in the mainstream of social, professional life. It is enough to say that one in five people of retirement age remains employed.

The data show that 43% of consumers aged 60 plus shop online (eagerly sourcing clothing, footwear, electronics this way), taking advantage of discounts and loyalty programs. 71% have an online presence, consuming social media. And 60% of the senior community, for example, appears in the virtual social media environment at least once every seven days. 21% of this group play video games once a week in the online ecosystem. Given the demographic implications and the undoubted growth of the 60+ population, this will be a progression of 65% by 2040. It is therefore necessary to look at this multitude of consumers more carefully. And note that it is not heterogeneous.

Senior Citizen or Power Generation Program?

The offer, which is already aimed at Seniors in name, assumes the group’s passive potential. Meanwhile, the community has different, often more “active” needs. In demographics and social discourse, for example, there are other terms for the diverse group of people over 50, 60, 70.

Phrases: The Flexi Generation, Free of Metrics, Best Agers, Power Generation, Yolds, or Young-Olds emphasize that this generation is interested in more than just offerings in health, medicine, rehabilitation devices, accessories, such as a blood pressure measuring device. It is worthwhile, following this trend, to note this heterogeneity in marketing as well. And create offerings to seniors who don’t always feel like seniors. While they are active, healthy, curious about the world and actively consume the resources they have. What is worth paying attention to in terms of recipients of loyalty program in the 60+ group? Undoubtedly, it is necessary to differentiate what kind of offer reaches Silvers, people from the older generation, and whether the potential recipient actually identifies with such an image.

Notwithstanding the above, one should look to sectors that have already recognized the potential of the mature generation, creating offers dedicated to this group. Here, the constructs of such programs are based on the belief that promotions and loans go to people with relatively low debt. And having a lower tendency to risk and characterised by foresight. Hence, consumer credit offers are emerging, driven by a properly designed message. The image of a senior, who was positioned as one who appreciates family values and tradition as the dominant messages to this consumer group, also changes in front of our eyes.

The image of a more modern representative of the 60+ generation increasingly emerges. So, a consumer who openly enjoys life (tourist offerings, healthy food offerings). And as a generation of Younds-Olds, they are eager to pursue their lives, fulfil their passions, and treat the empty nest as a source of new opportunities. What can make a difference in the design of loyalty programs for people 60+ is also authority. This is a measurable factor that shapes the decision-making process. Therefore, loyalty programmes that use a referral system and the role of, for example, an ambassador from the same generation, can represent an effective way of reaching this group.

Practice makes perfect?

Examples of loyalty programs for Seniors:

  • Ogólnopolska Karta Seniora (National Senior Card)

A loyalty program dedicated to people 60+ is the National Senior Card. Manko Association project integrates a variety of discounts, promotions. And today it has 550,000 participants, aggregating more than 3,000 establishments that recognise the benefits in their offerings. Currently, seniors using the programme can take advantage of discounts in various areas of activity: through tourism, leisure, catering, to services, cultural institutions, training centres, as well as offers related to rehabilitation and medicine. The National Senior Card offers discounts within Poland and integrates stores, pharmacies, hotels, service outlets, museums, and railroads (30% discount for travel on Polish State Railways trains, 25% discount on the basic value of single tickets from Przewozy Regionalne sp. z o.o.). The Manko Association, which stands behind the project, also develops the European Senior Card initiative. The free card entitles you to discounts in Poland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Italy and Sardinia. It allows you to enjoy offers from cinemas, resorts, hotels, tour agencies, restaurants, medical facilities, paying less for services.

  • Carrefour Polska – Senior Card

Carrefour has prepared a loyalty program dedicated to people 60+, offering Senior Cards. The concept is that each Tuesday a cardholder receives a 10% discount on purchases in which they spend a minimum of PLN 50. They can be used on any day of the week and at the time of your choice. According to official communications from the brand’s website, it relies on a simple message to mature consumers and classic outreach channels. And it also cares about transparency in the bonus process. The card itself can be opened free of charge at the Carrefour hypermarket and Carrefour Market supermarket chains. In addition, you can use the option of adding the card to the My Carrefour app to have access to various offers, discounts or coupons in one place.

  • LECLERC Jarosław “ZAKUPY+” (SHOPPING+) — local program

A loyalty program aimed at customers of the E.LECLERC Jarosław hypermarket also included gratuities for people over 60. In this case, regular customers were rewarded under the slogan: Buy more – gain more! The zlotys transferred to loyalty cards of regular customers for purchases at the hypermarket in Jarosław increased in direct proportion to the number of purchases. Details are set forth in the terms and conditions, highlighting bonuses for people over 65 years of age. A participant in the SENIOR+ Club, as the action was defined, was entitled to an additional discount of 5% of the value of purchases for any purchases made on Mondays or Thursdays with a minimum value of PLN 40. In order to enjoy the offer, you must have previously registered for E.Leclerc’s Bonus loyalty programme and joined the SENIOR+ Club (conditions – formal proof of being at least 65 years old).

  • Skarbonka Auchan – Auchan moneybox

Auchan has introduced the Skarbonka program, which provides benefits for people over 60 years of age. In a press release on the implementation of the loyalty program, it was highlighted that the benefit offer also applies to seniors. And it addresses the different, heterogeneous needs of this demographic and consumer group. The SENIOR offer provides the opportunity to obtain a min. 1% discount on all purchases on the Skarbonka card. And, at the same time, it offers to get an additional discount worth 5% when purchasing goods bearing the Auchan logo. Seniors who use the program automatically achieve Gold status, the lowest of the guaranteed statuses.

Loyalty at a price (and in strategies) in times of crisis

Undoubtedly, brands in times of crisis must strive to build retention, loyalty of consumers and create positive social proof (social proof that influences consumer decisions) at every stage of the purchase funnel.

At the same time, they need to take care not only of price, but the following aspects influencing Customer Experience: logistical conditions, payment models, quality of customer service, communication and environment. In this context, a properly designed loyalty program remains a resource that fits into the sales strategy. When building it, it is not worth overlooking the 60 plus consumers. So, a group that is heterogeneous in terms of expectations (which poses a challenge to the authors of messages and offers), numerous and informed, and with financial resources. This is confirmed by the Fame Grape Report indicating that pensioners, for example, are the group least likely to be at risk of poverty. Subjective examples of targeting the 60+ group indicate a growing awareness of consumer potential. Although undoubtedly, this communication is aimed at Seniors. It is certainly worth reaching out also to the Flexi Generation, the Power Generation, the active part of this age group that is not withdrawn and helpless.  And this may be suggested by the connotation of the word “senior.”

Will this direction evolve? We will follow these areas. Especially as the Wonderful Age trend, related to the ageing population, has been selected as one of the most important in 2023 by Depositphotos, the image and content bank that forecasts the future of communication in its annual Creative project.


If you are looking for a loyalty program that precisely targets your audience, write to:


Author: Beata Ryba

Marketing and PR Manager

Beata has various experience in marketing (including Silver marketing and promoting generational diversity in the social space), PR and building relationships.

Editorial: Ewa Nowaczyk-Przybylak
Translation: Paweł Kurpisz
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