Marketing to boomers: how brands can engage with the over-50 “Unstoppables”

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The growth potential for marketing to boomers – for brands that move quickly, empathise and engage with this audience is great.

“Liberated for the first time from their obligations, turning their attention to new hobbies and interests is why we refer to them as ‘The Unstoppables’. And it’s why companies should sit up and take notice of their needs. It’s a win-win. And not one to be ignored.”

This is the takeaway from two recent studies by Added Value. They confirm what we already know about the big opportunity companies have to grow business by taking the time to specifically market to boomers – by understanding, embracing and responding to the functional and emotional needs of the wealthiest and most influential generation in the United States.

In my opinion, the most important finding from this study (again, because it reinforces an extremely important yet overlooked fact about this audience) is that “this sector of the population is a multi-faceted audience with many different needs, motivations and desires, which drive how they engage with brands and, consequently, how brands need to engage with them.”

Other key takeaways from the study include:

Connecting early can reap longer-term rewards. Older people are just as willing as other generations to try new products (contrary to what many marketers believe). But they’ll also reward brands that meet their needs with their loyalty. So purposefully connecting earlier should reap rewards.

Older doesn’t mean different. In the UK, only 8% of people regard 50-60 as being old, while only 5% of those 65+ feel their age. Turning 50 doesn’t automatically mean a whole new wardrobe of brands. But there is a clear (and financially significant) opportunity for brands to think about how they extend their relevance across age bands.

This is a time of positivity. Added Value’s recent UK research shows by far the most admired people are those who make older age look fun and stimulating, e.g. Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Sean Connery. Communications strategies should reflect this same vibrancy and optimism (as long as they’re genuine to the “brief”).

But it’s not without stress. Aging is accompanied by a change in physical, emotional and often financial, condition. There is a clear role that brands can play in offering reassurance by reviewing all areas of marketing, e.g. tailored products, services and in particular, customer experiences which are seen as useful but don’t patronise.

You can read the original article about this study that appeared in Marketing Magazine here.

Eric Brody

Eric Brody is President of Trajectory, a brand consulting and marketing agency specializing in creating momentum for customers, brands and businesses across the related categories of health, wellness and beauty.

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