2017 Generational Marketing Report – Part 1: Baby Boomers

“A body at home eats at home,” Derochowski said, adding that this opens a number of selling opportunities for housewares.

A notable example is coffee consumption. As consumers age, the amount of coffee they consume continues to grow, which provides retailers and suppliers of coffeemakers new selling opportunities.

“When looking at coffee consumption from the age of 18 to the age of 75, there is a straight line up of growth,” Derochowski said. “Every year consumers get older they drink more coffee.”

On the food and cooking side, he feels a host of small electrics including toasters, toaster ovens, air fryers and multi-cookers could be attractive to consumers looking for appliances that help them more easily prepare meals at home.

While those appliances are also used by younger consumer groups such as Millennials and Generation X, the key for retailers and suppliers alike is to take steps to market products at older generations.

“It’s important for companies to highlight products or product features to Boomers that they might not have been aware of,” Hubbell said. “It’s also important for companies to understand what Baby Boomers want from the products they have in their home, and offer them something they might not have known they wanted.”

When talking about products in the world of housewares that are designed to meet the needs of a broad cross-section of consumers, the key may lie in bringing multiple demographics together in advertising material and packaging.

“Anytime you can find ways to connect with Baby Boomers the better,” Derochowski said. “A focus on common themes such as wellness or home entertaining that overlaps with various age groups is one way. Having packaging that shows a 65 year old parent, with a 40 year old child and a 20 year old grandchild around a grill or cooking together would be a good way to connect products to multiple generations.”

The BoomAgers/Nielsen report noted that tapping into the Baby Boomers’ feeling of “self” when marketing products and services is vital as this demographic has long been known as the “me” generation. “No group of Americans before it grew up with such a pronounced self-consciousness,” the report said. “They celebrated their individuality— the ‘me’ that gave meaning to their lives.”

To play to the “me” factor of Boomers, the report suggested that marketers personalize their appeal to consumers in this demographic by creating communications that are specific to them. A key to achieving this is the ability of companies today to use social media to create a marketing message that is customizable and targets the specific needs and desires of Boomers.

Companies expanding their marketing efforts to target Baby Boomers may also end up with a positive side effect. While most marketing efforts today are focused on younger consumers at the expense of consumers above the age of 50, a well-executed plan that speaks to Boomers may also indirectly reach their children and grandchildren.

NPD’s Derochowski noted that a lifestyle issue such as health and wellness is one of importance to Baby Boomers and their behavior and the products they use to live a healthy life could influence the younger members of their family.

“Today it’s about preventative methods to stay healthy and about health and wellness as a lifestyle,” he said. “This allows the parent to have a major influence on the child.”

The influence of Baby Boomers on the younger generations of shoppers could also impact how and where they shop. Hubbell noted that older consumers could serve to act as the bridge for younger generations to local businesses.

“For Boomers, transactions were relationship driven,” he said.

He noted that older consumers have historically developed relationships with local retailers that were akin to “knowing a guy” that would provide service when looking for myriad of products including appliances, jewelry and clothing.

While younger consumers— largely Millennials— have eschewed the personal transactional relationship, the possible influence of Baby Boomers could change this going forward, experts said. —Greg Sleter

Baby Boomers Generation Z
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