Boomer Consumer: Buying Habits

by | Jul 20, 2021 | Business & Aging, Longevity

From their home to their health, baby boomers exhibit vastly different behaviors and habits than any other segment of the population. This cohort, born between 1946 and 1964, is the wealthiest generation. In fact, recent statistics indicate that they currently control more than 70 percent of all disposable income in the United States. Understanding how to reach these consumers, and capture their hearts, is crucial as your organization attempts to appeal to the boomer buyer.

The Market is Trending Towards Baby Boomers

It’s time to make your business boomer-friendly. One example that I’ve used in the past is the flood of ski resorts being retrofitted to cater specifically to boomer and senior skiers, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. In addition to providing environments, products and services that are targeted to baby boomers, you also need to invest in marketing that appeals to them. As of late researchers have put together interesting retrospectives on Super Bowl commercials, commenting on how there was much more of a focus on the boomer population. Historically, Super Bowl commercials have proven to be one the biggest market indicators in terms of where the consumer mindset is headed, so if they’re targeting baby boomers with their marketing, then you should be too! Advertisers have always appeared to be obsessed with the 18-35 set, but the senior population is one of the fastest growing demographics in America and clearly corporations are beginning to jump on board. If you want to see a boost in your business and stay ahead of the game, then you absolutely need to cater to the baby boomer and retiree market.

The Buying Power of Baby Boomers

Need more convincing? Think about the 50+ population as a whole. They not only wield enormous purchasing power since they routinely make the major decisions in their households, these aging parents account for 80% of the consumer goods market. In addition, baby boomers are accumulating much more wealth than their younger counterparts, now accounting for more than $2.9 trillion in consumer spending. Don’t know why that’s significant? Despite the 2008 recession, baby boomer spending was up an astonishing 45% as compared to the previous ten years, that’s why! They account for nearly 50 percent of all consumer packaged goods sales, 77 percent of prescription drug sales, 80 percent of leisure travel spending and 41 percent of all new car purchases.

Baby Boomers and the Family

Of course, that doesn’t mean that older adults spend their money haphazardly. Baby boomers frequently self-report that they are most concerned about investing money in their family’s future, baby boomers are starting to spend less on frills and more on their families.  More specifically, they’re worried about helping their adult children pay off mortgages and making sure their parents maintain an independent lifestyle. In fact, research shows that family is considered to be one of the highest priorities among baby boomers, so services that cater to those relationships will resonate with them. Financial institutions are taking advantage of this trend by providing retirement and pension plans that older adults can pay into for their loved ones and a myriad of companies are focusing on the vast numbers of boomers who are caregiving for mature adult family members by creating innovative personal communication systems to help boomers and their parents stay connected. Targeted services like these (that pull on the heart strings!) are definitely key when it comes to appealing to baby boomers and securing them as customers.

It’s Time to Focus on Baby Boomers!

As you can see, the 50+ population is still a swiftly developing consumer market, and it’s hitting an all time high in terms of global aging. While catering to baby boomers may not necessarily fit into every business’s product and service portfolio, these examples show that they’re definitely a demographic that deserves closer attention from you and your organization. I think you’ll be surprised at how well mature adults will respond to your company if you just take the time to make it baby boomer friendly with deliverables developed especially for them!