In a recent national survey, travel and listening to music were named as two favourite past times among Australians regardless of age or gender.
A discussion with South Australians ages 60 – 69 shed light on the nearly universal appeal of travel and music. Both activities create a shared experience and can bring people together:
“The thing that really sticks in my mind about travel is that, from our experience, it doesn’t matter where you go in the world and whether it’s English speaking or not, the bottom line is, realistically, everyone is the same.”
“Travel’s really important because it widens your world. You start to appreciate the people that you didn’t appreciate before. It certainly removes a lot of prejudices that you might have and opens your mind.”
“[Live music is about] the atmosphere of other people sitting around you and listening. And things can go wrong, like the musicians have to get there early and set up. Just being able to have a smile with someone or a chat in the break or buy a CD afterwards and get a signature and have a hug, a photo. That whole experience for me.”
The sense of connection can even extend to brands, particularly locally based businesses:
“[It’s] a human connection, I think. I like to drink Pirate Life beer, and only because I’ve met those guys at an event where they had a stall set up. Since then, if I see Pirate Life beer at a bottle shop, I’ll buy it, just because I’ve had a chat to the guys when they were setting up their business. I’ve been to an event with Never Never distillery who make fantastic gin, South Australian business. If I want to buy gin, I’ll go and look for that in the bottle shop.”
“Like the farmers’ market, I go to the farmers’ market often on a Sunday morning and I like to interact with the growers and the egg producers, and that sort of thing. Just makes me feel I’m supporting other South Australians.”
But can big brands master personal relationships in the same way?
As observed with other age groups, brands like Apple foster a following and even create a sense of belonging among their customers:
“I think if you started with Apple, you stick with Apple. But I think if you haven’t started with Apple, you continue with the Android. So I think you sort of stick to one.”
Square Holes is investigating the role of brands, big and small, in a post-COVID world. Read our previous discussion series on behaviour changes during the COVID-19 crisis.