The aging population is a major marketing target for companies from consumer goods providers to financial services and consultants. But baby boomers are often misunderstood, presenting a greater challenge for those selling to them, writes Bloomberg News.
With money to spend, and a whole host of products and services specifically geared toward the baby boomer demographic, marketers are largely missing how to effectively sell to the population.
“This consumer segment is one of the more difficult ones to open up in terms of needs and wants,” Matthew Doyle, 57, a 30-year employee of Proctor & Gamble and now vice president of innovation lab the Live Well Collaborative told Bloomberg. “No one was designing products just for them.”
From lumping all senior buyers into a single category to offering products that are overtly made for aging, marketers are making several mistakes, sources told the publication. Instead, they should be looking to “universal design,” and acknowledging baby boomers as a dynamic population that changes in taste and behavior over time—like other target demographics.
“A big risk here is we jump from one stereotype to another — from the incapacitated people sitting in care homes to a picture of impossibly happy boomers on bikes,” Halima Khan, director of the Innovation Lab at UK-based charity Nesta, told Bloomberg. “Neither of those does justice to the reality of older people’s lives.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker