Active and wealthy Brazilian older adults: identity and consumption motivations

Andre Fregolente (Department of Administration, Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil)
Irene Junqueira (Department of Administration, Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil)
Priscilla Yung Medeiros (Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA and Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration (EBAPE), FGV, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 12 August 2019



This paper aims to explore the relationship between identity construction and consumption motivation of the socially active and wealthy Brazilian older adults, applying a new approach that focuses on important circumstances and life events retrieved through storytelling.


Using in-depth semi-structured interviews with socially active and wealthy older Brazilian consumers, this study adopts “Noting, Collecting and Thinking about Things” (NCT) and two-cycle coding methods to explore the qualitative data.


The results indicate the need to explore identity construction and consumption motivation in an integrated matter. Life circumstances and events help explain older consumers’ identities and its impact on main consumption motivations, which include self-expression, a need for social contact and relationships, attachment, detachment, nostalgia, knowledge appreciation and technology affinity, among others. An integrated approach allows for the identification of new consumption motivations.

Practical implications

The main consumption motivations identified in this study help delineate some new marketing strategies targeted to older consumers, such as taking into account the importance of building relationships with older customers, adopting family references to promote products and services, taking into account the value older customers place on technology usage and being connected with current matters and treating the elderly as a heterogeneous group, among others.


This paper focuses on an attractive and yet unexplored segment of older consumers in the literature, contextualizing their identity and consumption motivations in an integrated fashion, rather than studying these concepts in isolation. New marketing strategies targeted to the older consumers are identified.



The authors thank Per Axelson for his valuable comments.


Fregolente, A., Junqueira, I. and Medeiros, P.Y. (2019), "Active and wealthy Brazilian older adults: identity and consumption motivations", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 633-642.



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