The idea that life can be divided into a series of stages has been around a long time. The Seven Ages of Man was beautifully expressed by the character Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Act II Scene VII). See Morgan Freeman recite it here:

For marketers, there is huge potential in understanding life’s key stages and how they influence purchase decisions. Mention a brand like Harley Davidson and we all know we are talking about the mid-life crisis male.

With people who have recently bought a new home purchasing more products and services in the next six months than an established resident spends in a two-year period, it’s important for brands to look at all the key life events that can represent a purchase trigger.

Of course life stage dynamics mean that new cohorts of customers are coming into the target for most brands all the time. Understanding how to be the first brand on the consideration list for newly-weds, first home-owners, new parents, empty-nesters or the newly-widowed can be a real competitive advantage. Superfunds understand this when they target students before they start earning. And speaking of superannuation, tour operators do well when they target the newly-retired, with superannuation funds to call on for the first time. Life stage matters – don’t forget, in Victoria you may not be covered by your parents’ Ambulance Victoria membership once you turn eighteen.

Parents are a critical influence when we think about life-stage marketing. With brand preference being heavily influenced by the choices our parents made in categories from cosmetics to financial services to grocery staples, marketers need to understand that mature brand loyalists and brand advocates have a profound impact on new generations of purchase decision-makers every day.

To learn more about life-stage influence on purchase patterns, call 8534 3333 or email


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