As a consumer segment, Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) are sizable, lucrative, and they’re spending! As the largest U.S. demographic, they have 77% of discretionary wealth, represent 25% of the U.S. consumer landscape, and account for 60% of consumer spending. Reared amid the post-war economic boom, this generation virtually defined consumerism. Now, as its members enter a more mature life-stage, it is no longer their hairlines that are receding; this generation has receded from the sights of many advertisers, as have previous generations of pre-seniors. The difference in this generation is that they wield unprecedented buying power and influence, and they expect the same level of attention from advertisers and marketers that they grew accustomed to in their youth.
Annalect’s new research belies the popular notion that consumers between 51 and 69 are staunch brand loyalists stuck in routine; they are very likely to try new products or brands. Coupled with their aforementioned buying power, this receptiveness suggests that they are under-targeted. In fact, less than 5% of ad dollars are actually being targeted to Boomers. According to our findings, while Boomers feel that marketers are headed in the right direction in recognizing their significance and value as consumers, 47% of Boomers still feel the advertising playbook has not changed enough. Just as they have reset cultural perspectives at every prior life stage, today’s 51 to 69 year-olds are redefining maturity; they define themselves as living healthy and exciting lifestyles, and they chase experiences across multiple aspects of their lives. Forget the old playbook that led marketers to dispassionately address aging Americans in search of their youthful, more brand-conscious counterparts. Brands that advertise in ways that ignore or stereotype Boomers, or fail to fulfill their perceived needs or desires, run the risk of missing the bull’s-eye in communicating with this essential target.
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Our research focuses on the following themes:
What experiences they are after
How they define themselves as consumers
How technology impacts boomer shopping
Their brand loyalty across product categories
How brands have changed/altered their product(s) to accommodate Boomers’ expectations and/or needs
Across categories, how the advertising playbook has (not) changed
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