Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boomers, Aging and the Evolving Self

[29 July 2009 - MarketingProfs] Good news for those marketers who seek to advertise aggressively and creatively to Baby Boomers: You are right on track! New research is finding that for many Boomers "aging is not about the inevitable end, but rather about the evolving self." It seems this age group is redefining retirement as "a time of growth when identity is broadened, expressed, and completed through consumption." Let the games begin! Researchers scoured the current literature on aging and lifestyle, and observed seniors in a wide range of communities and life situations. They've concluded that Boomer retirement is:

  • A dynamic life stage full of self-evolution and identity work. Marketing hint: Offer personalization on a host of products. Emphasize making a mark, leaving a legacy (take heed, nonprofits).
  • A culture in which "identity experimentation" is increasingly acceptable and common. Hint: Keep it in mind as you market that those in this age group are rediscovering their true selves. "It's finally time for me!"
  • A culture that emphasizes staying busy and traveling. Hint: Forget frailty. Assume they're tough and ready to explore!
  • A time when consumers favor consumption. (Don't you love it?) Hint: Don't rule out any product as not fitting this generation. Instead, try reworking your creative to target them. They're ready to buy—once they're shown a little respect.
  • The Po!nt: They're as young, and as unique, as they feel. Don't treat today's seniors like they're old and frail. Instead, market to them as the vital, active individuals they truly are. They're ready to respond!
Source: "Consumer Identity Renaissance: The Resurgence of Identity-Inspired Consumption in Retirement," by Hope Jensen Schau, Mary C. Gilly and Mary Wolfinbarger. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009. More


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