4 ways to win with Boomers

30 Oct 2017|Added Value

Millennials and Centennials are spoken about so much in branding, it feels as though they have become a kind of obsession that we can’t escape. Recently our CI team in the UK has been considering a generation that we tend to forget about – the Boomers. Relegated to being referred to as the ‘Grey Pound’ they are often forgotten, patronised and misspoken to by brands.

Although a lot of brands speak to Boomers in a way that feels old fashioned and boring, here in the UK we have been intrigued by some of the brands that are speaking to this generation in interesting and crucially, aspirational ways.

1. Understand where they’re coming from. Boomers were some of the very first teenagers and lived through a decade of cool we all still refer to, especially in the UK – the Sixties. Designers such as Paul Smith and Barbara Hulanicki still play on the idea of peak cultural cool from this time period, with shift dresses and slimline suits that evoke the chicness of the period without ever being nostalgic or retro. These brands matter to Boomers because they come from people they know, love and respect, and have done so for years.

To win here brands should recognise the life trajectory of this group, the experience they have lived through and the appeal of their youth.

2. Respect their taste.Unlike Millennials and the upcoming Centennials, those from the Boomer generation have already figured out who they are. They’ve gone through the fads and trends already – they know what they like, and are looking for brands that can cater to their tastes. Brands such as Jo Malone excel in this space, as they offer products that feel highly elegant and considered, but still allow the consumer to use a lifetime of discernment to make the right choice for them.

Brands should recognise that this generation have incredible self-assurance, and allow them to be as discerning and choice driven as possible.

3. Fit their lifestyle.Although we refer to younger generations as being true digital natives, Boomers aren’t afraid of technology. They are more connected than ever, and with greater disposable income than most, they are often early adopters of new technology. Wearable technology has found a win in this demographic, with 48% of Americans over 65 willing to use wearables, 1% more than those under 65. Generation Fitbit doesn’t just mean millennials running 5k to work every morning, it also includes those who want to make lifestyle tweaks to improve their long-term health.

Brands must be careful not to assume that Boomers are afraid of technology, as they have the know-how and means to be the gatekeepers of new innovations.

4. Keep them culturally connected. We might look to the young to be the new cultural provocateurs, but we shouldn’t assume that Boomers aren’t interested in the new cultural content being produced. Films such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are marketed almost exclusively to this generation in a way that feels patronising and staid. But Boomers are often more likely to have time on their hands, and a desire to be on the cutting edge of entertainment. Offers from brands such as Sky with curated packages on Sky Atlantic and Sky Arts offer an easy way to digest new content and stay connected to the wider cultural world.

Brands should take into account the range of their audience, and not dismiss Boomers as needing safe and traditional content.

This article was written by our Cultural Insight team in the UK.

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