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Boom! Understanding Baby Boomers

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Boomers are single-handedly re-defining what it means to age, giving rise to a brand new lifestage, 'The Second Act'. If you'd like a free PDF of BOOM! visit our site.

Boomers are single-handedly re-defining what it means to age, giving rise to a brand new lifestage, 'The Second Act'. If you'd like a free PDF of BOOM! visit our site.

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  • 1. BOOM!UNDERSTANDINGBABY BOOMERSPrepared by THE SOUNDSEPTEMBER 2011
  • 2. STRATEGIC INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH VANCOUVER . TORONTO . CHICAGO . NEW YORK . LONDON A BOUTIQUE GLOBAL Understand Inspire AGENCY APPLYING LEADING EDGE RESEARCH Text TECHNIQUES, TECHNOLOGIES AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MODELS TO UNDERSTAND THOSE Create WITH SOME ‘GROWING UP’ LEFT TO DO 2
  • 3. BOOM! RESEARCH APPROACH OUR INNOVATIVE APPROACH CONSISTED OF 3 STAGES DEFINE EXPLORE EXPERIENCE Expert Interviews 3 day Sounding Board 10 x Self Ethnography 3 x 1hr Depth - 50 respondents in video diaries Interviews with total Boomer Experts Text Stage Stage Stage 1 2 3
  • 4. INTRODUCTION WHO ARE THE BABY BOOMERS? Born during post war baby boom: 1946-1965 - Aged 47 - 65 The largest generational cohort Almost 15 million boomers in the UK, over 79 million boomers in the US, almost 9 million in Canada Wealthy... Baby boomers hold 80% of the UKs wealth and bought 80% of all top of the range cars Text ...Unhealthy Bought 77% of all prescription drugs BOOMERS ARE THE ORIGINAL TEENAGERS! Created a whole new lifestage Defined the values of an age group: Rebellion / Hedonism / Individualism / Risk taking and, of course, an entirely new leisure & entertainment industry 4
  • 5. WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT 47-65S NOW?SHEER SIZE Never before has our planet contained so many older people • 2/3rds of all people ever to reach the age of 65 are alive today • In the US another former youth turns 50 every 8 seconds • In the US over the next 20 years, 74 million Boomers will retire TextCULTURAL INFLUENCE The boomers were a demographic bulge that has remodeled society as it passed through through each age cohort They have always set the cultural agenda and influenced society Today they are shifting the ‘psychographic centre of gravity’ of the developed world 5
  • 6. WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT 47-65S NOW? “Saying you are going to target 18 to 34 year olds is so outdated. Marketers need to respect and understand consumers over 35, who are increasingly adopting new media and staying active” Andy Fennell - Diageo CMO 6
  • 7. WHY DO WE CARE ABOUT 47-65S NOW? Text 7
  • 8. UNDERSTANDINGBOOMERS
  • 9. UNDERSTANDING BOOMERS BOOMERS ARE SINGLE HANDEDLY RE-DEFINING WHAT IT MEANS TO ‘AGE’... SECOND LIFE REDEFINING AGING Text I refuse Despite to slow getting down ... older GEN-VALUES LIFESTAGE 9
  • 10. BOOMERS:GENERATIONALVALUES
  • 11. Generational ValuesWhat makes Boomers tick? “Rebellion works; it gets attention ... We’re here!” We werent fighting for Text social change, that was a side-effect, we were selfish, we just wanted to do what we wanted to do! BOOMERS HAD A REVOLUTIONARY YOUTH ... As a cohort they’ve played a pivotal role in changing many aspects in all of our lives Triggering these changes has taught them to believe they can get what they want! Importantly, social change was a result of selfish desires more than philanthropy 11
  • 12. Generational ValuesSocial movements We didn’t grow up in the same world as our parents, we wanted to have fun... and I still do! TextAS TEENAGERS, BOOMERS FOUGHT FOR CORRESPONDING VALUES...THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS It is important to be cynical - authority should be‣ Sexual revolution questioned not obeyed‣ Gender Equality‣ Civil rights movement Fun and personal pleasure is important‣ Experimentation with drugs Youth should be respected, old people are the enemy! 12
  • 13. Generational ValuesTech movements I totally embrace I think people technology and underestimate us. I know a can’t wait to get a few young people in their 3D telly and an 20s and 30s who think I am iPad! better at the new social media than they are. I think I am just more willing to try Text new thingsOVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES CORRESPONDING VALUESBOOMERS HAVE SEEN (AND PLAYED AROLE) IN VAST TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE Technology is amazing, and its progress can solve problems and improve all our lives‣ A TV in every home‣ Communications technology that has shrunk the world Humans really can do anything‣ A man on the moon ‣ Devices that ease and automate almost every Being able to adapt is important domestic duty 13
  • 14. Generational ValuesHealth and fitness TextBOOMERS WITNESSED HUGE CHANGES CORRESPONDING VALUESIN ATTITUDES TOWARDS HEALTH‣ The commercialisation of fitness Recognise the importance of being your best health - The rise of chain gyms, jogging, work out videos and wise - physically, emotionally and spiritually the body beautiful‣ The popularisation of healthy eating Good health isn’t just down to luck, important to take - Dieting trends and celebrity nutritionists care of yourself 26
  • 15. BOOMERS:LIFESTAGEEXPERIENCE
  • 16. Lifestage ExperienceGrowing pains... BUT THERE ARE UNDENIABLE DOWNSIDES TO GROWINGOLDER, BOTH CULTURALLY AND PHYSICALLY‣ Physically, age is taking its toll - Illness is more of an issue - Harder to keep weight down - Grey hair and wrinkles - Less energy‣ It’s a surreal experience for most Text‣ Boomers see their bodies getting older but their minds are still young and vigorous‣ They’re also starting to experience some ageism for the first time - they’ve become the generation they rebelled against “Grey hair makes me feel and look old and out of place at some bars in town...” “I look in the mirror and think, ‘who is that old bloke looking at me?!’ I feel 40 but look 60” 26
  • 17. Lifestage ExperienceGrowing gainsTHAT SAID, GETTING OLDER COMES WITH MANY BENEFITS ...‣ With age comes wisdom and experience‣ Boomers feel very comfortable with who they are and the decisions they make‣ Despite the recession, they’re the most financially secure generational cohort‣ They’ve reached the peak of their careers and shift their focus away from achievement to simply enjoying the journey Text‣ They are at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs... ‣ Few safety, social and self esteem issues ‣ Busy ‘self actualizing’ - pursuing personal interests ‣ Taking care of others, especially their (adult) kids “I can pretty much do whatever I want. I dont have the same responsibilities I have had through most of my life. I am financially in a good place and feel optimistic about the future”“I feel so uninhibited. With an easiness that I did not possess when I was younger, I dont hesitate to do things that bring joy to me and/or may enrich my life.” 26
  • 18. REDEFININGAGING
  • 19. Redefining AgingWelcome to The Second ActBOOMERS HAVE REACHED AN AGE CULTURALLY ASSOCIATED WITH DECLINE AND SLOWING DOWN, AS EVERTHEY REFUSE TO CONFORMTHE ‘SECOND ACT’ EMERGES AS A RESULT OF THE TENSION BETWEEN GENERATIONAL AND LIFESTAGEVALUES‣ In many ways the ‘Second Act’ looks just like adolescence: ‣ Responsibility free / Abundant free time / A time of exploration traveling and adventure / discover and experiment with new brands‣ But it is defined by the need to SELF-ACTUALIZE and driven by a powerful desire to remain youthful, healthy and active = obsessed with VITALITY Text “We’re not slowing down or taking it easy. We have a long, active life ahead of us. It’s not retirement. It’s a second youth” 26
  • 20. Redefining AgingRedefining relationships with partners GETTING OLDER DOESN’T MEAN THAT ROMANCE IS DEAD ... ‣ Boomers were the generation that pioneered free love, and did more to normalise dating and divorce than any other generation ‣ Despite societal expectations around older age, Boomers are continuing to enjoy active sex lives, whether in long term relationships or not ‣ Boomers see no reason to change the romantic habits that have given them pleasure thus far in life ‣ Now that older children have left they’re now even more time together, going out, staying in or traveling Text “The romance in my life is good. My husband and I are still like a couple of teenagers at times! We are both very tactile and love each other very much and are not afraid to show it.” “Seeing my girlfriend could involve a widerange of activities - visits to restaurants, bars, dancing, cinema, day trips to walk somewhere beautiful or a night in with a bottle of rosé.” 26
  • 21. Redefining AgingRedefining relationships with kidsPREVIOUSLY, THE GENERATION AT THIS AGE WOULD HAVE RELIED ON YOUNGER RELATIVES FOR SUPPORT -BOOMERS DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY ...‣ The most financially secure generation, Boomers feel they should be taking care of the family‣ Increasingly Boomers are heading up intergenerational households, with room for Boomers’ parents as well as their kids and even grandkids!‣ They have a different relationship with their children - they are HEROES to the Millennial generation ‣ They’re friends as well as parents, and will often socialise together, going out to dinner, movies, sports games Text “I want to be of assistance to my adult children as they reach different crossroads in life. My assistance could be financial advice or emotional support. I want to be around to see their progress and their childrens progress through life. My most important parenting is happening right now.” 26
  • 22. Redefining AgingRedefining relationship with workWORKING HARD IS A FUNDAMENTAL BOOMER VALUE AND IT DOESN’T WANE WITH AGE ...‣ Economic realities and the increase in “desk” jobs (low physical labour) are breaking down age barriers in the workplace‣ Many Boomers are returning to work from retirement, either as employees, consultants or launching start- ups - A UK study found: 42% claim to be delaying retirement. 25% claim theyll never retire‣ Not only do they enjoy hard work, they’re keen to contribute as much as they can by making the most of their skills and passing on what they know‣ Work is also a great way to keep them feeling ‘youthful’ Text “Work is a means to pay bills andsupport my lifestyle, but it also serves afunction of giving structure to my week, and giving me self esteem.” “We now have laptops at work to givegreater flexibility and can now log on tothe network wirelessly from most placeswithin the organisation and from home. It gives us a greater work life balance.” 26
  • 23. TAKING YOURBUSINESSFORWARD 23
  • 24. Taking Your Business Forward - BOOMER BRANDS “Most marketing messages are ego centric or materialistic, they project values associated with lower level needs, i.e. self esteem, status, the need to belong...boomers operate at a higher level” David Wolf - Boomer marketer 24
  • 25. Taking Your Business Forward - BOOMER BRANDS SELF GEN-VALUES ACTUALIZING LIFESTAGE VALUES VALUES Text
  • 26. Taking Your Business ForwardTHERE ARE SOME KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN TALKING TO BOOMERS ... THEY STILL FEEL 40 YEARS OLD! HIGHLY INDIVIDUATED - DON’T TALK TO THEIR ‘GROUP’ THEY LOVE TECHNOLOGY AND NEW MEDIA Text REMEMBER TO SPEAK TO SELF-ACTUALIZED NEEDS - I.E EXPERIENCES, PROGRESS, PASSIONS, LEGACY THEY’RE STILL MAKING MONEY ... AND THEY WANT TO SPEND IT! BOOMERS ARE HEROES TO MILLENNIALS