Move over millennials, there’s a new kid on the block : perennials – a new term to describe people with a no-age mindset.
The term was coined by US internet entrepreneur Gina Pell, 49, who explains, ‘Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.’
Perennials, unlike millennials, is an ideal that ignores the notion that same age equals same interests… and companies should take notice.
As a 47-year-old mom of three (two adults, one teen), I like much of the same fashion and beauty products as my daughters. I wear skinny jeans with sneakers or flip-flops, jeans shorts, and even tank tops. I’m still the same size I was as a 20-year-old. Sometimes, we even borrow each other’s clothes.
That said, I’m under no illusion that I’m 21 and I don’t try to look like my college aged daughters. I’m very comfortable in my own skin. But I know I live very differently from the way my grandmother did at my age. I also don’t feel middle-aged. In fact, I feel as young and vibrant as I ever have. I’m full of energy with a quest for fresh experiences. My friends range from age 24 to 75. I can have a meaningful conversation with any age group.
What has changed is that women (and men) my age and older no longer accept being told what things “should” look like… and how we “should” act. We look and act the way we feel. We want to defy generational stereotypes.
In today’s landscape, classifying groups of people based on their year of birth is so limiting since people will age differently. Some may want to slow down at 40, others start a new career at age 50.
My daughters who are big fans of Electronic Dance Music festivals urge me to attend. They don’t care that I’m 20+ years older than most attendees. While I’m not a fan of electronic dance music, I think my kids are so cool for letting me into their world.
The definition of perennial is something lasting or existing for a long time; enduring or regenerating. But Gina Pell, founder of “The What,” wants to extend that definition to a new generation of consumers, one that surpasses the boundaries of age and continues to explore and learn.
Companies that only pay attention to millennials, create missed opportunities. Instead of focusing all their marketing efforts on one age group, they should concentrate on others who may share the same interests, despite being outside the age-range.
Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to suggest new products based on past buying history and viewing habits versus customers’ age. Companies can benefit by measuring attitudes and interests instead of age and income. It’s not always about how old people are or how much money they make: Companies should be more interested in how consumers think and feel.
As Gina Pell puts it, ‘Defining people by their birth year is so antiquated.’