Marketing to Boomers as They Age

Very interesting article in the New York Times on how marketers are dealing with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. The generation still has huge purchasing power, but the messages they respond to are different from those that succeeded with the previous generation of seniors.

According to the Times, this is in part because “they don’t want to believe they fall into any niche at all.”

That leaves marketers grouping older consumers into categories that give the illusion of individuality, they hope, while still encompassing millions of people.

For example, Age Wave, a consulting firm, has settled on four essential categories for post-retirement consumers. There are “Ageless Explorers,” or rich retirees who respond to images of silver-haired scuba divers reinventing themselves in their waning years. The “Comfortably Contents” are also wealthy, but more attracted to scenes of fishermen, friendly dogs and rocking chairs. They want to spend their final years free from the responsibilities of work, social obligations and worrying about anyone else. The “Live for Todays” wish they could relax, but didn’t save much, so their financial anxieties make them easy targets for Costa Rican retirement communities and thrifty insurance plans. And then there are the “Sick and Tireds,” basically ready to die, who are attracted to anything that makes the waiting less painful, particularly if it costs less than $19.95.

Charles Duhigg, who wrote the article, details some of the advantages and pitfalls of the approach. You can read the full article here.


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