www.downloadslide.com Chapter Four The Changing American Society: Demographics and Social Stratification 121 chapter in life, starting new activities and setting new goals. 44 Sony has targeted the active boomer as follows: Sony spent $25 million to target what it calls the “zoomers,” a name that reflects the active lifestyle of this generation. One of their ads featured a “grey-haired astronaut filming Earth with his own camcorder.” The tagline: “When your kids ask where the money went, show them the tape.” Sony credits a surge in camcorder sales to its renewed focus on this increasingly important segment. 45 Being a grandparent has or will become a major part of this active retirement period for many boomers. The substantial wealth and spending power of this generation make them prime targets for a whole host of categories including toys, vacations, gift cards, and school supplies. 46 Clearly, however, as boomers age, their physical needs are changing. Particularly among older boomers, major health problems are increasingly likely and will hamper their active lifestyles. Even for healthy boomers, however, issues of appearance are critical and demand for plastic surgery, baldness treatments, health clubs, cosmetics for both men and women, hair coloring, health foods, and related products continue to expand as this group ages. How well do you feel the baby boom generation is targeted in the Oil of Olay Regenerist ad in Illustration 4–3? As with the Depression generation, it is important for advertisers to avoid overreliance on themes and models that are too young and not representative of boomers and their life stage. As one boomer indicates: I’ve quit buying clothes from stores who only use young gals in their catalogs. To me it says that they aren’t interested in my money. 47 While it is convenient to provide a general summary of boomer characteristics, it is also important to avoid stereotypes and move toward an understanding of how to segment this large market. Consumer Insight 4–1 discusses some of the stereotypes and also approaches to segmenting the boomer market. Generation X Born between 1965 and 1976, this generation represents roughly 45 million Americans as of 2015. It is a smaller generation than the generations before and after it. Generation X reached adulthood during difficult economic times. It is the first generation to be raised mainly in dual-career households, and 40 percent spent at least some time in a single-parent household before the age of 16. The divorce of their parents is often a cause of stress and other problems for the children involved. However, these changes have also caused many members of Generation X to have a very broad view of family, which may include parents, siblings, stepparents, half-siblings, close friends, live-in lovers, and others. ILLUSTRATION 4-3 The baby boom generation is entering its 50s and 60s. As it matures, it is creating demand for weight-control products, hair dyes, lotions, and other “anti-aging” devices such as the Oil of Olay Regenerist microsculpting serum.
www.downloadslide.com CONSUMER INSIGHT 4-1 Beyond Stereotypes: Segmenting the Boomer Market The baby boom market is the largest generational segment in America but also one of the most diverse. Such diversity requires that marketers move beyond stereotypes and understand segmentation opportunities that exist. Below we deal with common stereotypes of the boomer market and provide insight as to segmentation opportunities. 48 • Boomers all have the same values and outlook— This is far from true. Boomers are quite different in values and outlook in part due to differences in life experiences relating to health and finances. One study by Focalyst finds three boomer segments based on outlook: Yesterday (25 percent)—This group believes that life was better in the ’50s and is not optimistic about the future. Health and financial issues are major factors for this group. Marketing messages that reassure, comfort, and acknowledge the efforts of this group may be particularly effective. Today (30 percent)—This group believes that they live in exciting times and is happy with their lives today. Strong physical and financial health contribute to this positive outlook. Marketing messages that focus on the now, indulgence, and the good life may be particularly effective. Tomorrow (45 percent)—This group believes that the future will be better than today and remains positive about the future despite negative financial or health events. This group is highly connected with friends and community, which may explain their positive outlook. Marketing messages that emphasize stability, optimism, and spirituality may be particularly effective. • Boomers are self-centered—The phrase “Me Generation” was created for baby boomers. However, many boomers are much more socially and environmentally conscious than that label suggests. One study estimates that roughly half of all boomers are “Green Boomers,” meaning they buy environmentally friendly products. • Boomers are not tech savvy—The Internet and mobile technology are an important part of many boomers’ lives. Roughly 80 percent of boomers are online, and roughly half of all boomers engage in wireless Internet use, which includes wireless Internet connection via laptop, checking e-mail via cell phone, using the Internet on a cell phone, and using IM on a cell phone. • Boomers are married empty nesters who are downsizing—Only 25 percent of boomers are married empty nesters. Nearly 40 percent of boomers have children under the age of 18 living at home and many also have boomerang children, and live-in parents. Others are singles who are actively dating. In terms of housing, less than 10 percent of boomers plan to downsize in the next five years. • Boomers are all retiring early and wealthy—Over half of all boomers plan to work and/or volunteer beyond their retirement age. One in six is on their “second career” and about the same percentage are engaged in furthering their education. Although many will continue to work out of enjoyment, many also work due to financial need, increases in retirement age, and so on. Only 10 percent of boomers make $150,000 or more a year, and the net worth of the bottom 20 percent of boomers is a mere $2,480. Clearly the baby boom generation is large and diverse and marketers must understand the boomer market and its segments in designing appropriate marketing strategies. Critical Thinking Questions 1. Explain the key factors driving the outlook differences among boomers? 2. What factors explain why only 10 percent of boomers plan to downsize in the next five years? 3. What ethical and social responsibilities do marketers have when marketing to older consumers? 122