business news in context, analysis with attitude

Business Week reports that “as boomers head into their 60s starting next year, this generation, which grew up with the mass market and witnessed the rise of network TV and then the Internet, is once again forcing marketers back to the drawing board, this time to rethink the rules for reaching graying customers. But it matters now because half of the 77 million boomers -- people born between 1946 and 1964 -- will be 50 or older this year. That's the age at which marketers traditionally lose interest in consumers, believing that their choices about which brand of toothpaste or which car to buy have long since hardened and that their biggest earning and spending years are behind them.”

But not so fast.

Statistics show, Business Week writes, that as people live longer than ever, more of them see middle age as a chance for a second wind and a new start, plan to keep working longer (at something – not necessarily their original careers) and at the very least stay physically and mentally active. And, unlike previous generations, boomers will continue to make more money as they get older, which will mean greater amounts of discretionary income to spend on cars, vacations, or toys of various kinds.

And, the story reports, “They're likely to be vigorous consumers as they empty the nest, take on new jobs, relocate, support children they had in their 40s, go back to school, start a second or third career, remarry, inherit money from their savings-minded parents, pursue new hobbies, and tackle the health issues of aging.”

But just because boomers may be younger at heart and mind than their parents were in middle age, that doesn’t mean that they wanted to be treated like kids. Far from it. They want to be treated like adults who have acquired a taste for new experiences, who don’t want to be condescended to, who want their personal issues addressed by marketers in a reasonable and realistic way.
KC's View:
Sounds reasonable to us…which actually matters in this case, since we’re actually smack-dab in the middle of this demographic, dealing with all these issues and trends and desires.