Innovation Inspiration : Marketing To Boomers

24 Jun 2013|jhall

To receive Jonathan Hall’s monthly newsletter on Innovation, directly in your inbox subscribe here. If you take a look at the book, Marketing to the Ageing Consumer: The Secrets to Building an Age-Friendly Business, you might ask yourself why Boomers are no longer flavor of the month. In the understandable rush to crack the Millennial code, scores of advertisers are ignoring Boomers completely. We need to think again. Many Boomers have a scale of wealth worthy of targeted innovation and capable of transforming industries. And some companies have already spotted the opportunity. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how Added Value can help develop a Boomer strategy.
Want to know more about Millennials? Click here.

Old age isn’t what it used to be
The US Census predicts that by 2030 nearly 40% of the US population will be 50+. That figure rises to 49% for China and Germany and 57% for Japan and South Korea. These consumers account for almost half of American household income and expenditures, yet less than 5 percent of advertising is geared towards them. With the exception of the health & beauty category, most industries are doing a poor job reaching this important group.

Transformative wealth
Deloitte reports, “Age 50+ consumers will transform multiple industries unlike any prior demographic shift and managers will have to master new skills and lead the transformation of products and strategy to adapt to a changing marketplace.”

Spurring innovation
Businesses are thinking more about how they can be age-friendly and this is leading to new products and services. Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Aegon have even formed the Global Coalition on Aging to help handle the age boom. “The reality is such that you can’t build an old man’s product, because a young man won’t buy it and an old man won’t buy it.”

Just don’t call them old people!
While many ignore Baby Boomers, there are some great examples of how some companies are quietly retooling for aging boomers. Best piece of advice they can give those trying to target this group: “Baby boomers, famously demanding and rebellious, don’t want anyone suggesting they’re old.”

Disruptive Demographics
From focusing on demand outcomes to creating new types of partnerships, businesses today will need to employ new thinking as they address the needs of this disruptive demographic.

Five Misconceptions
Let’s be honest, the popular view about anyone ‘old’ is that they are stuck in their ways, don’t know how to text and are always taking naps. Not true!

Millennials? Pah!
Forget the idea that when Boomers eat out, it’s periodic and before 5pm. Visits to restaurants by Baby Boomers has increased, while visits by Millennials have decreased. “The Boomers happen to be very different than their predecessors. They act younger. They eat younger. They want to live forever.”

Amazon Targets Seniors
We love Amazon, but something tells us that they might turn off “50+ Active and Healthy” adults by featuring products that, well, make them feel old…

Design for Aging
SXsw2013: “Aging is part of the normal life cycle that we will all experience.”

Age-friendly products for aging boomers
“My definition of age-friendly is when the unique physical needs of older people are satisfied in a way that’s natural and beneficial for all ages.”- Kim Walker, founder and C.E.O. of Singapore-based Silver Group

Written by Jonathan Hall, Managing Director, Added Value Cheskin.

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