I was not quite twelve years old when The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper. On that groundbreaking album was “When I’m 64“, which you might think is the topic of our TunesDay screed. Not so fast, dear readers. The song is a young man wondering what his life will be like when he’s 64 and will he and his lover still be together. I remember thinking at the time that 64 was VERY old and picturing two old folks walking hand in hand slowly down a boardwalk someplace.
Let us now turn to the real subject of the screed this TunesDay: a guy who turned the aforementioned 64 yesterday. Here he is performing about a week ago so you can see what 64 looks like:
I know you’re probably tired of me writing about Bruce so let’s think about what the reality of him at 64 is vs. the mental picture of someone at that age most of us might have had when we were in our 20’s. It’s a good business point too.
We can’t let our perceptions get way out of touch with reality nor can we let our prejudices about an age lead us to market our brands ineffectively. How customers see them selves as they age is kind of counterintuitive. In fact a Pew study shows that:
the older people get, the younger they feel–relatively speaking. Among 18 to 29 year-olds, about half say they feel their age, while about quarter say they feel older than their age and another quarter say they feel younger. By contrast, among adults 65 and older, fully 60% say they feel younger than their age, compared with 32% who say they feel exactly their age and just 3% who say they feel older than their age.
Moreover, the gap in years between actual age and “felt age” widens as people grow older. Nearly half of all survey respondents ages 50 and older say they feel at least 10 years younger than their chronological age. Among respondents ages 65 to 74, a third say they feel 10 to 19 years younger than their age, and one-in-six say they feel at least 20 years younger than their actual age.
The Boss is nearly 64 and Mick Jagger is 70. So while they (and we) might be “older, losing my hair, many years from now,” if you talk to us that way you’re missing the boat. Got it?