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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thinking outside the age box

Hubby and I on board the Carnival Splendor
After taking a recent cruise, the company emailed an on-line survey and asked me to rate my experience. I was very happy with the cruise and didn’t mind taking the survey to let them know. It started with the typical “How would you rate the entertainment, waiters, greeters etc. and I was more that happy to give them all a 10 out of 10.

It progressed to the personal questions: “Are you male or female?’ I know I am female so I am ok with them knowing that too.

Then the age question comes up.
Are you:
   25-35
   35- 45
   45-55
   55-65
   65-75
   75-85

I spent a career in marketing so I understand why companies need to know the age of the person answering a survey. It’s because we want different things as we age. For example; if you tick the 25-35-year box you will probably be interested in the night club and drink packages more so than someone who ticks the 75-85-year-old box.

The problem is the lines around the boxes have blurred. Not every 75-year-old is old! Not ever 25-year-old can drink all night.

I admit ticking a box is much more convenient than having to scroll down through a list to find your birth year. That always leaves me with carpel tunnel syndrome afterwards.

The age box peaked my interest this time because I realized hubby and I now live in separate boxes! That’s right, after 22 years of marriage we have separated… and it wasn’t our choice.

You see, I am in the 25-35-year-old box and hubby is in the 55-65-year-old box. 

Oh, you caught that did you? It was worth a try.

Alright, I am in the 45-55-year-old box and hubby really is in the 55-65-year-old box. Our boxes are next to each other but we have been corralled like a herd of cows into separate fields. Mine is in the greener fields of “still want a drink package and prefer old time Rock-n-Roll type night clubs” and hubby has been put out to pasture in the “Doesn’t really use the drink package anymore and want to be in bed by 10 PM.”

I wont even be in his box for another two years! By that time, he will be midway to changing boxes again.

Then you know what happens when you leave that 75-85-year-old box? You get a big wooden box with your name on it!

It’s not very nice to put someone in a box. 

Boxes keep you in and they don’t tell the truth. If this cruise company really wanted to know how to serve their guests better they should think outside the box by using the following instead age groups:
   Drink package and Hip Hop dance music
   Drink package and Rock-n-Roll
   Drink package, Hip Hop and party all night
   Drink package, Rock-n-Roll and party all night
   Small drink package, Rock-n-Roll and bed at 10 PM
   Small drink package and bed by 9 PM
   No drink package, puréed food and bed by 8 PM

You would get a much more accurate marketing analysis of who is on the cruise ship using this.

Growing old together is the greatest honour there is. Over the past 22 years we have ticked everyone of those boxes together. We have lived through “Drink package and Hip Hop music” to “Lets just stay home and watch a movie.”

What I am saying is; companies should not assume that they can put people in a box and close the lid because they are aging. 

For the record, the cruise company did not make any money on our drink package. Also, Hubby and I danced every night in the Hip Hop club while 20 year olds watched us!

Hubby and I will always be in that “Drink package, Rock-n-Roll, go to bed when I get there, stay home and watch a movie because I am so glad our plans got cancelled” box.


Now analyze that!