Don’t Let Your Cell Phone Sell Your Age

Personal Branding

Today’s post is written by Gareth Parkin.

About a month ago a mid-level executive I know in California asked my advice about getting a new cell phone. He said, “I don’t really need or want a smart phone, I don’t text or email from my phone. My old phone is dying though and they don’t make this brand anymore, what would you recommend?” My answer surprised him; I said, “Do you realize what your phone is saying about you? It’s something to think about.”

Walk into any café or company and you develop an instant perception about people’s ages and income levels based upon their phones. As a promotional products company at GoPromotional, we are always interested in buying habits and marketing trends. Mobile phones are on the cutting edge of a changing marketplace. In our experience, this is what your smart phone is saying about you:

  • If you have an old small flip phone you are probably over 40.
  • If you have an older Blackberry you are probably over 40 and you had a good job at some point.
  • If you have an Android phone you are probably younger than 40. Same goes with an iPhone.
  • Cheaper Androids and Windows phones and you are probably even younger, between 20-25.
  • Touch screen phone users (Android and iPhone) earn good money (or they are just computer geeks).

Nielsen’s research backs up what you will find in any US city. Android and Apple iPhone smart phone users are younger and they earn more money than people using other types of cell phones. This is something to think about when you are interested in personal branding. A cell phone doesn’t make the man or woman but like many other small things it does say a lot about your age, income and technical sophistication. Whether you want to believe it or not, potential employers and coworkers also probably notice this either consciously or subconsciously.

As a side note, the executive I mentioned above ended up getting a new Android smart phone even though our conversation established that he really didn’t need one. Last week he got his first promotion in 7 years, probably just a coincidence.


Gareth Parkin is the Managing Director at GoPromotional an international online marketing group that specializes in promotional business gifts and corporate merchandising. GoPromotional’s team has more than 30 years worth of experience in corporate gifts, branding and international marketing and offers an enormous selection of quality promotional items at exceptional prices including: promotional mugs and cups, promotional keyrings, conference bags, promotional Green shopping bags, corporate promotional clothing and much more. At GoPromotional, “We turn your marketing visions into reality!”