09 November 2009

A Potential Boom from Baby Boomers: Universal Design & Aging in Place

For advertising folk, one of the most useful attributes of the internet is being exposed to online trade mags – ones you’d probably never see otherwise.  With a new client, or if you’re pitching, you need to find founts of knowledge fast.

I’ve been quoted in a few trade mags I’d never heard of until they contacted me:

image Boomers in Candyland

Boomers Beyond: Marketing to a 50-Plus Audience

Savvy sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care.

While fiddling with the ether today, I happened upon this piece in Kitchen & Bath Design News:

Look for a Potential Boom from Baby Boomers
DPH Perspectives
By Melissa Allen
image Where can boomers turn for help with customizing their homes so they can stay where they are? Big-box stores offer deep inventories and economies of scale, but don’t provide carefully chosen collections of truly outstanding products or the expertise to help boomers combine products and solutions to meet age-related needs.

image… Boomers want knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals they can work with in upgrading their homes, and they’re worried that they won’t be able to find them.

This spells opportunity for our industry.

First I had to figure out what DPH meant. Wikipedia was no help.  With some scrolling and deep deciphering, my incredibly big brain finally got it: Decorative Plumbing & Hardware.

More from the article:

“In our showroom, we’ve found that semantics are as important as the products themselves. References to limited mobility or handicapped products are not well received by this generation. Sales professionals need to understand the importance of nomenclature. They need to emphasize that these products add beauty, safety and enhanced functionality,” Miller says.

Aging-in-place products are becoming more attractive. For instance, grab bars were once very utilitarian looking. “Now, grab bars come in multiple finishes and styles, and different lengths and widths, and can be high end as well as basic,” Miller says. “All of a sudden, we’re able to provide people with products that don’t remind them that they’re getting older. We’re not only able to provide safety, we’re able to provide safety in beautiful products.”

That sounds like a chapter in my book:


I’ve updated the chapter and put together a PDF about Universal Design/Aging in Place and advertising to Baby Boomers.  Click here to download.

A previous post with some good links:

UD, Aging in Place, and My Dumb Noggin

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