In an ageing world, companies should beware the perils of social media

Companies should see their drive towards age-friendliness as a mitigation of risk. Take for example the recent case where an Oregon concert promoter posted a comment on Facebook complaining aboutĀ Alaska Airlines’ treatment of a disabled passenger. It went viral earlier this month and was seen by thousands of customers and potential customers while Alaska scrambled to come up with a response.

While not entirely the same, there are parallels between responding to the needs of the disabled and the impairments of some older customers.

We believe the boomer generation will be far more outspoken on such matters than preceding generations of older consumers.

The Alaska story has since turned into a public-relations nightmare, as it has been picked up by CBS television and the Associated Press, spreading negative publicity about the airline across the country.

Companies that fail to understand and anticipate the needs of their ageing customers will face similar challenges and potential commercial harm.

Better get age-friendly smartish.