Baby Boomers key to brand segmentation

Brands popular with baby boomers are using the similarities in attitudes the generation has with a younger demographic to market their products and services across a wider age range.

A person who is a bit rebellious, a keen consumer of media and interested in the next big thing might sound like a teenager but it actually describes how some ’baby boomers’ – people born in the post-Second World War baby boom and who grew up between 1946 and 1964 – are behaving now.

There is so much overlap in the values and attitudes of boomers and ’millennials’ – those born between 1982 and 1996 – that some brands are considering targeting them in the same way. Older consumers often have significant disposable income, while young people are often seen as trendsetting and keen to spend.

WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell tells Marketing Week: “Baby boomers are where the wealth and income is. I don’t know whether you can aim at both boomers and younger groups or whether you have to use more segmented and targeted strategies. But you ignore either at your peril.”

Baby boomers were the original teenagers, which is why the two groups may have similar values, suggests a study by The Sound Research, shown exclusively to Marketing Week. Before the boomer generation reached their teens in the Fifties, the concept of ’teenagers’ didn’t exist. Boomers may now be middle aged, or even approaching retirement, but as the first teenagers, they do not consider themselves old.

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