Boomers are often overlooked by marketers but they’re more active and wealthy than ever before and share many of the same consumer behaviours as much younger demographics – which means they should be an exciting market for brands.

“You can accuse baby boomers of many things; house-price inflation, planet-wrecking-conspicuous-consumption, Brexit,” says NOKAMO’s Rachel Deacon, “but you can’t say they’re ageing gracefully."

Writing for WARC, she notes that boomers missed the Second World War and grew up in the longest period of sustained prosperity and have benefited from the biggest improvement in living standards in history.

They are, she says, “the most active, healthy, tech-savvy, adventurous and, crucially, affluent generation in history” – and they’re not about to settle for a quiet retirement.

Her advice to marketers is to throw away any age preconceptions and think of them as millennials with money and their own homes. (For more details, read the full article: Why brands can’t afford to ignore the Baby Boomer generation.)

There are more similarities between boomers and other generations than differences, Deacon points out, citing a US study that found “significant differences did not exist between baby boomer and millennial males”.

That same study described boomers’ expectations of brands as “quality, service and competitive price” – which, she observes, “surely applies to almost everyone in the market for anything. It certainly doesn’t suggest any dramatic generational difference.”

Better, then, to follow the example of Microsoft which bans demographics and instead segments consumers by mindset. So rather than thinking in terms of boomers and millennials, Microsoft sees ‘tech natives’, ‘early adopters’ and ‘tech avoiders’.

This focus on attitude rather than age, Deacon reports, has driven higher engagement, relevance and, ultimately, ROI – all the things that marketers everywhere want.

“Brands need to take a more progressive and positive attitude to age,” she declares. Boomers may have shorter lifetime potential value, but with similar attitudes to millennials brands have an opportunity to create products and services based on “authentic insight into an older, but by no means old, mindset” which they can expect to resonate with the following generation.

Sourced from WARC