Baby boomers key to brand segmentationA person who is a bit rebellious, a keen consumer of media and interested in the next big thing might sound like a teenager but it actually describes how some ’baby boomers’ - people born in the post-Second World War baby boom and who grew up between 1946 and 1964 - are behaving now.
There is so much overlap in the values and attitudes of boomers and ’millennials’ - those born between 1982 and 1996 - that some brands are considering targeting them in the same way. Older consumers often have significant disposable income, while young people are often seen as trendsetting and keen to spend.
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell tells Marketing Week: “Baby boomers are where the wealth and income is. I don’t know whether you can aim at both boomers and younger groups or whether you have to use more segmented and targeted strategies. But you ignore either at your peril.”
Baby boomers were the original teenagers, which is why the two groups may have similar values, suggests a study by The Sound Research, shown exclusively to Marketing Week. Before the boomer generation reached their teens in the Fifties, the concept of ’teenagers’ didn’t exist. Boomers may now be middle aged, or even approaching retirement, but as the first teenagers, they do not consider themselves old.
The research also suggests that brands targeting boomers should be looking at helping them get more out of life. While marketers may be tempted to promote the emotional benefits of a particular product, the research suggests they should think more about its practical uses.
Boomers are less likely to have issues with self-esteem than younger generations who might be concerned about what others think of them, so they seek products that fit a functional need rather than fulfilling an emotional one. The research suggests that these people look for product benefits and are keen to make up their own minds about brands.
(Cut from Marketing Week report online)