Rethinking myths for the Vietnam seniors market

Richard Burrage
Nov 26, 2021

The Vietnam seniors market is misunderstood and rife with myths. We seek to dispel some common myths when marketing to seniors in Vietnam.

Authors Thy Nguyen and Quynh Nguyen – Strategy team of VMLY&R

5 min read

Rethinking marketing myths for the Silver Generation in Vietnam

How well do you know your parents?

As a marketer, ask yourself: Do you know your parents? Do you pay attention to their behaviours? What do they like to buy? How much do they spend and what do they get up to in their daily lives?

It’s easy to overlook how little we know about our parents and other people their age. Our knowledge about them usually comes from marketing lessons that we – the digital generation – teach ourselves. And usually, it’s based around the idea that the over 50’s whom Cimigo name as the silver generation are homely grandmas doing tai chi in parks, drinking tea and looking after their grandchildren.

It’s time to think again. And it’s important that we do so because people over the age of 50 are fast becoming one of the fastest-growing untapped consumer segments, expected to account for a more than 36% of Vietnam’s population by 2036.

Truth is, many of the preconceptions we have about older people, are too often based on assumptions and myths, rather than facts.

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Dispelling these ideas and replacing them with real data and insights will be crucial for marketers and brands wanting to make real, authentic connections with these consumers. Cimigo, dug deeper to understand the reality of some of the most common assumptions concerning the Vietnam seniors market.

Vietnam Silver Generation

Myth or Fact #1: The Vietnam seniors market – they expect their children to look after them

Children are taught to be more attentive towards their parents when seniority kicks in. From doling out pocket money to bringing them food, these ideas reinforce the idea that older people are incapable of self-care. This is simply not the case. In fact, research shows that this group is incredibly active (6 in 10 exercises daily), with the majority still involved in running their small business and making money (8 in 10 still have some income), especially women in this age group.

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Fact: 79% of the Vietnam seniors market have an income stream, are financially independent of their children, and do not rely on them for support.

Vietnam Silver Generation

Myth or Fact #2: Savings are common, but are not meant for their offspring

It’s true that a high proportion of the Vietnam senior market has savings, however, these are generally earmarked as ‘emergency funds’ rather than future funds for their children. With rising concerns about aging, health and the unknown, Vietnamese seniors prepare for their future with substantial savings.

  • 34% have ongoing business profits.
  • 7% have life insurance, higher amongst the wealthier and those still in their 50s.
  • 86% have health insurance. State insurance is prevalent in Hanoi while in HCMC, private insurance is much more preferred.

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Fact: The  Vietnam seniors market is taking measures to save and invest for themselves. Financial services have a great opportunity to explore the potential of this age group.

Vietnam seniors

Myth or Fact #3:

The Vietnam seniors market – they are bored and have zero passion left

The general assumption goes that age often comes with pessimism, with people becoming more self-conscious and vulnerable as they age. Yet, statistics prove otherwise, instead of revealing that one-third of this generation perceive themselves to be younger than their actual age.

Now with ample time on their hands, they actively seek out new ways to enjoy life, through travel, fashion, beauty, entertainment and more.

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Fact: Vietnamese seniors are passionate and yearn to realise their aspirations and find new and different ways to enjoy life.

Vietnam seniors and exercise

Myth or Fact #4: Fitness is key. Vietnam seniors are in need of sports diversity.

Vietnamese fitness companies mostly focus their marketing on attracting people aged between 25-40 years old, as can be seen in their marketing campaigns. However, in doing so they are missing a trick – overlooking the increasingly health and wellness savvy over 50s market.

  • Vietnamese seniors are very attentive towards health and wellness, especially women. 13% of their income is spent on healthcare, including supplements, fashion, dining out and travel.
  • More than half of all respondents reported exercising every day, yet are limited to walking, riding bikes, or at the very best, badminton. Options for other types of fitness and sport activities are yet to be explored.

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Fact: Vietnamese seniors are committed to improving their fitness levels to be healthier and stronger. It’s a great opportunity for brands in healthcare and fitness to explore services and products that cater to their needs.

Vietnam seniors online

Myth or Fact #5: The Vietnam seniors market – they are tech-illiterate and they cannot be reached online

Those in the Vietnam seniors market tend to be introduced to technologies such as smart TVs, tablets and smartphones by their children, and the authenticity of information is important to them. While television is still their main medium, online channels can act as supporting channels to win and convince them. Discounts and strong word of mouth are powerful triggers brands should remember while communicating to the Vietnamese silver generation.

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Fact: The Vietnam seniors market is comfortable with technology, 5 in 10 use a smartphone and they are making progress to achieve higher goals in life using technology.

To conclude, as Vietnam’s fastest-growing age-segment, the silver generation have the most discretionary expenditure as their dependents have largely left the nest and become self-sufficient. They also have a lot of leisure time and aspire to lead an active lifestyle with burning aspirations. Thethe Vietnam senior market is the ideal segment for brands and marketers to win a largely untapped segment that is, time rich and asset-heavy with high disposable income.

To find out more about the Vietnam seniors market, download your free report here.

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