Disruptible Me!

Active Agers weigh in on service industries offering the best/worst value

by Peter Boyce

How many products and services do we buy or use regularly without thinking: there has to be a better way of doing this?

Outside of industries like tech, or even food products, where we’ve come to expect a rapid pace of change, how often do we ask: “Is this as good as it gets?” That is unless we’ve had an especially disappointing experience (and we’re more than happy to share our negative experiences with others).

This might be even truer for products or services we’ve grown accustomed to paying for every month, year after year – i.e. utilities, cable, internet, insurance and/or those that don’t seem to have a ton of obvious or attractive competitors.

For many of us the pandemic has been the greatest disruptor of our lifetime, shaking up our ways of working, traveling, socializing, shopping, just to start.  Change is not all bad, of course, and the pandemic has proven just how flexible we can become, very quickly. It’s also brought out the best (and worst) in people and brands, who have either adapted to meet our needs (or sadly suffered losses from which they might not be able to recover).

With disruption the new norm in our lives, we thought it was a good time to look at industries that have flown under the radar, because they seemed to be relatively pandemic-proof. We thought it was a good time to ask: what industries could use some disruption in the interests of better service and better value?

So, we asked our Revolution55 insights community of consumers 55+ (i.e. Active Agers) what service industries they think offer the best and worst value – i.e. which ones could use a little disruption?

Their top 5 for providing “the least value”:

  1. Car dealerships
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Airlines
  4. Auto services
  5. Life insurance

(Note: financial/banking services were rated as providing the best value, followed by medical/healthcare, hotels and hair/beauty salons).

Personal connection could be key

Some industries, like car dealerships have already seen disruption. Hyundai’s Genesis brand will take the test drive experience to you. There are a number of large online car sellers and the pandemic has forced many traditional dealerships to go this route. Physical dealerships may need to re-think their experiences, especially when consumers can access a wealth of car information and costs with a few keystrokes. Ever been to a car dealership and you knew more about a car than the salesperson?

We’re also seeing auto services that take the service to you via mobile set-ups. Insurance seems to be an industry ready for disruption, especially when you wonder, am I getting better products, service or value for my rising premiums? How about more choice in products based on individual needs or simpler, clearer language and terms?

It’s interesting that industries like financial services, healthcare and hair/beauty salons fared better in our Revolution55 survey. The opportunity to build strong personal connections and trust could be key factors in their perceived value compared to industries that are more transactional (i.e. auto services) in nature.

If nothing else, the pandemic has shown there is an opportunity for positive change in times of difficulty and disruption. It’s made us all a little more receptive to change and likely to ask – can’t you do better, if you want to keep me around as a customer.

To the “least value” industries highlighted above and to the potential disruptors – it’s your move.

Not sure where to start or what a campaign “targeting” older consumers looks like? Please reach out. We can start opening some doors for you, whether that’s through quick insights from our community of Active Agers or a closer audit of your current marketing efforts.

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