Aging Boomers: A Marketing Perspective March 2002

About This Report

New marketing messages and strategies for Boomers' later years

Boomers—the U.S. cohort born between 1946 and 1965—are approaching their later years. By 2015, all living Boomers will be at least 50 years old. Many will be reaching retirement age, if they have not already retired, and most Boomers with children will be empty nesters. Given the huge impact of this group of consumers—the group is currently 78 million strong—companies are eager to continue selling their products and services to Boomers as they age and as their needs shift. As a result, marketers and planners are spending considerable time and money trying to anticipate how this group's marketplace behavior will change. Relying on the patterns of past generations is unwise because Boomers' effect on society is unprecedented: Never before has such a large group passed through age and life-stage transitions in such a condensed time frame. Though researchers have brought many perspectives to bear in predicting the marketplace behavior of aging Boomers, SRI Consulting Business Intelligence's VALS™ consumer psychographic segmentation system looks beyond traditional demographic and attitude surveys to consider the psychographic orientation of Boomer consumers, formulating fleshed-out profiles of consumer groups that are of strong practical use to marketers and planners. Indeed, VALS research shows that Boomers will carry a rich collection of resources into their retirement years and will increasingly shift their focus from achievement and external rewards to self-fulfillment, cooperation, and other subjective concerns. For this group, quality, integrity, and tradition are more likely to sell products than are flashy, image-conscious messages.