23 April 2014

Housing and Baby Boomers

From my book Advertising to Baby Boomers ©2005:

Chapter Four: Give Boomers Room for Choices
….When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of ―neutral. Do not confuse this with ―sameness. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything...

Why did I say this?  Because I knew Baby Boomers were going to do whatever they wanted to do with their lives, their living spaces.  More from my book:

… The common term used for such places is “Planned Communities.” However, when presenting planned communities to the public, Baby Boomers could wince at the concept. You know it’s planned, we know it’s planned (What else could it be?)—but “planned” may sound too restrictive to Boomers. We don’t like the idea of anything planned. We want to do it ourselves, construct our own lives. Let us sustain the illusion, or a partial illusion: communities are not planned. We do not want to live in prefab theme parks. “Next-Stage Housing” sounds a bit stilted, but at least it’s on the right track.

Some Baby Boomer sociology experts predict that semi-retirement and retirement communities will naturally develop personalities based on shared interests. These could be gardening, motorcycles, vegetari- anism, the arts, even a community where the shared interest might be financial speculation.

Brent Green, author of Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers, believes that many 50-plus communities will become hotbeds for social activism. If we have a resurgence of our youthful activist days, it may be to pick up where we left off—revivifying proactive sensibilities Boomers had as teenagers and young adults, an idealistic fervor that “once gave us the greatest sense of engagement and meaning.”

When developing or molding a community for Baby Boomers, start with the concept of “neutral”. Do not confuse this with “sameness”. For example, when designing an indoor community space, do not assume that it will be used mostly for Bingo. Fashion it with flexibility so that it may be used for almost anything.

Finally, housing industry folks are getting wise:

A Guide To The New Retirement Communities
Richard Eisenberg, Contributor
image… In the past, with traditional retirement communities, people were dependent on a company or nonprofit to create them. That traditional model was much more top-down..

The Forbes piece talks about Co-housing, Niche retirement communities, NORCs (Naturally Occuring Retirement Communities), Shared housing – all concepts covered by yours truly and others a decade ago.

Louis Tenenbaum, Aging In Place Guru, shows up in this recent PBS NewsHour segment:

Check out Louis’ blog: Aging in Place Ideas

Many more links and posts:

Aging In Place & Universal Design

16 April 2014

Marketing to PrimeTime Women

Great move by my publishers – releasing an updated paperback edition of Marti Barletta’s Marketing to PrimeTime Women:

imageIn a new executive edition of her ground-breaking book PrimeTime Women, Marti Barletta offers practical applications and advice for getting into the minds, souls, hearts, and wallets of this influential demographic. Marketing to PrimeTime Women delivers a hands-on approach with strategic thinking and tactical ideas geared toward understanding and leveraging this enormously influential sisterhood of consumers.

A link to my review from 2007:

PrimeTime Women by Marti Barletta
PrimeTime Women is a breeze to read. It's like sitting around with Ms. Barletta, chatting. And in the room are dozens of fascinating, ready-to-rumble women, chiming in every so often.

The overarching theme of PrimeTime Women really isn't the money they control - it's that they are taking control of their lives. This is a phenomenon unique to Baby Boomers (and a bit older). After fifty is better than before fifty. There has always been a small percentage of women who bloomed in their later years. For Boomers it's become a generational ethos.

Marti chats about her skepticism of social media marketing:

It all sounds vaguely familiar:

25 September 2012
Twitter & Advertising

27 November 2012
Black Friday, Cyber Monday Surpass One Billion Press Releases

07 December 2012
What is Digital Advertising?

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

Buy Marti’s Book

08 April 2014

Older Adults Sold On Entrepreneurship

Good story on NPR:

Never Too Late: More Older Adults Sold On Entrepreneurship
by Ina Jaffe
imageIf you've ever been driven to rage and despair trying to pry open one of those plastic blister packs, Paul Tasner says it doesn't have to be that way. According to the 68-year-old Tasner, all it would take is for more products to use the packaging he's developed for his company, Pulpworks.

The company web site:

imageOur environmentally thoughtful protective packaging is fashioned from the very same raw material that’s been used for decades to create egg cartons. Said another way, we turn garbage into safe, planet-friendly products.

Great outfit.

Of course, none of this is new to NostraChuckus, famed Soothsayer and advertising gadfly who has been startling the world for years with his mundane prognostications.

From June 2006:

"In England, they've done a lot of studies about 'wrap rage,' and it goes much deeper than not being able to open a bottle of medicine, for instance. It's anything, any consumer goods packaging that people have trouble opening, and as Baby Boomers are starting to age, they are very sensitive to this," says Chuck Nyren, who just happens to be another Baby Boomer and also creative strategist and consultant, as well as author of "Advertising to Baby Boomers." According to him, "bad packaging can make Baby Boomers feel incompetent; as marketers, you don't want to remind this group of people that they don't have the physical skills they had when they were younger."

Of course, the above has nothing to do with me. I can rip open any dumb, stupid candy wrapper with my bare hands .... as long as one of my bare hands is holding a pair of pliers.

March 2013:

[image21.png]Wrap Rage Redux
… Now it’s become a 2nd Amendment issue. Many folks believe that you have an inalienable right to protect yourself against Bubble Wrap with high-capacity assault weapons…

The Green Revolution:

December 2007
Green Boomers
…Forty million boomers use their purchasing power to buy environmentally safe brands…

February 2011
Green Boomers Redux
… A few of these Green toy companies might get the smarts – and market their products directly to Baby Boomer grandparents.

Entrepreneurship?  My book ©2005, 2007 is stuffed with information.  Download the Introduction and 1st Chapter and you’ll find this:


  I’ve corralled all the wild animals:

Entrepreneurs & Baby Boomers
All of a sudden every other news article about Baby Boomers is focused on business and entrepreneurs.

Listen to/Read the NPR piece profiling Mr. Tasner and PulpWorks.