The current shift in demographics – aging and shrinking populations presents a major challenge to companies and societies alike. This is true for both a number of industrialized nations as well as certain emerging economies. However, even though this issue has recently attracted the attention of scholars, business leaders and politicians, research on the implications of the demographic change on businesses is still in its infancy.
With our work we aim to identify and analyze the main challenges and opportunities of this “silver market phenomenon” for new product development management as well as to give a first account of the current practices and problems of corporations in catering to the silver market. In this context we specifically address the question “which” customers companies address and “how” such companies approach customers/users representing the “silver market” to explore their needs and ideas for innovative products and services. We further look closer at differences in cultural settings taking Japan and Germany as our prime examples.
Cornelius Herstatt is Managing Director and full professor of the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (TIM). He is also a founding partner at the European Institute for Technology and Innovation Management (EITIM). He has published various books and over 130 papers on innovation and technology management.
This DIJ Forum is also the pre-conference kick-off of the International Symposium The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities and Responsibilities in the Ageing Society to be held at United Nations University Headquarters on 3 and 4 October.