Contrary to received wisdom, Baby Boomers are not disinterested in the launch of a new product or service, but they are unlikely to adopt it until it has been recommended in some manner, new research suggests.

And then, according to a whitepaper from launch marketing agency Five by Five, “they embrace it wholeheartedly, more so than other audience segments”.

For What makes Baby Boomers wise to new product launches?, Five by Five interviewed 1,000 Baby Boomers in each of three markets – Australia, the UK and the US.

It reported that, in terms of the adoption curve, Boomers tend not to be ‘innovators’, instead entering the market at the ‘early adopter’/’early majority’ stages.

“This implies that they rely heavily on word of mouth, new product reviews and recommendations before they consider committing to a new product,” it said.

“This is classic herd mentality and lends itself to social norming techniques such as testimonials and real life examples,” the whitepaper observed.

At the same time, Boomers have fewer ‘laggards’ – those people who end up buying a product because the older version no longer works.

Unsurprisingly, the media channels they rely on for information about product launches are the traditional ones – TV mainly but also print and OOH – with web and word of mouth key supportive channels.

Given their spending power, Five by Five argues that this is an audience worth considering in every launch, but, it adds, “the timing must be planned correctly and techniques such as social norming used”.

The agency also found that by mapping a potential customer’s life-stage and the events that may affect them, it is possible to match product relevance to enhance targeting, so making a launch even more effective.

For Boomers, the main events across all three markets (in order of priority) were: medical procedure; retirement; moving house; adult child moving out of home; the emphasis, however, varied from one region to another.

In the UK, for example, retirement is a key factor in Boomers paying more attention to car launches; ditto changing mobile phone and/or network. Internet, utilities and food launches, on the other hand, were mainly affected by having had a medical procedure.

Sourced from Five by Five; additional content by WARC staff