2017 Generational Marketing Report – Part 1: Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers Generation Z

At a time when retailers and housewares suppliers alike are hyper-focused on marketing their products and services to Millennials, several other generations, both older and younger, have considerable buying power and deserve attention from the housewares industry.

This year’s Generational Marketing report examines the irrepressible buying power of Baby Boomers and the emerging influence of Generation Z— two developments that should not be ignored while courting Millennials.

The size of the Boomer generation and their longer life expectancies gives this group of consumers a second look. Just when you think you might have Millennials figured out, the first wave of Generation Z is coming of spending age.

Baby Boomers Aren’t Ready To Retire Their Spending Habits

NEW YORK— The message from marketing experts is clear. Don’t forget about the Baby Boomers.

At a time when retailers and housewares suppliers alike are hyper-focused on marketing their products and services to Millennials, Baby Boomers in the estimation of some have been pushed to the side despite their considerable buying power.

While marketers have long sought to reach younger consumers as part of an effort to build brand loyalty and develop long term relationships with new shoppers, the size of the Boomer generation and their longer life expectancies is leading some to encourage housewares suppliers and retailers to give this group of consumers a second look.

“Baby Boomers have this view that they are ageless,” said Peter Hubbell, founder and CEO of BoomAgers, an advertising agency focused on people of age. “But what they also have is the power of disposable income and are focused on the future and living longer.”

According to the report, “Introducing Boomers: Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation” from BoomAgers and The Nielsen Company, Boomers account for $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods, accounting for nearly half of total sales, and this group stands to inherit $15 trillion over a 20 period through the early 2030s. In addition, they are also tech-savvy and account for 40% of customers paying for wireless service and 41% of those who purchase Apple computers.

While these financial estimates show the fiscal power of this older generation of consumers, the changing retail climate and behavior of younger shoppers also makes reaching Baby Boomers vital. Hubbell noted that while Millennials have been much discussed and are the focus for many in the current-day world of marketing, this group that is now in their 20s and 30s are delaying major life moments such as marriage and the buying of a first home; both of which have long been significant selling opportunities for the housewares industry.

“The fact is that Millennials are five years to 15 years away from peak earning potential,” he said. “They also don’t value material things like Boomers do and 60% of Millennials say owning a home is not a priority.”

While Millennials take their time with major life decisions, Baby Boomers today have money in their pockets and an expectation that their golden years will last a while. The BoomAgers/Nielsen report noted that consumers over the age of 50, which numbered 98 million in 2010, would grow 34% by 2030. During that same time frame, consumers between the ages of 18 and 49 will grow 12%.

The report also noted that while figures show Baby Boomers have the greatest amount of disposable income, there remains a thought process that older consumers spend less of what they have. While this may have been true of prior generations, most notably those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II, Baby Boomers have shown a proclivity to spend their money.

Housewares Opportunities

With the nation’s older population continuing to grow at a faster rate than other key demographic groups, these consumers will also be spending more time at home and therefore have a greater need for new housewares and other products.

“The Baby Boomers are becoming empty nesters and have more money at this key time in their lives,” said Joe Derochowski, executive director and home industry analyst for The NPD Group. “They are retiring, moving or remodeling their homes and the result will be that they will be buying more items for their homes.”

While noting older consumers frequent restaurants more often than younger consumers, they also continue to do a great deal of cooking at home.

1 2