29 November 2005

Baby Boomers and Universal Design

Megan Kamerick's article on Bankrate.com, Boomers push interest in Universal Design homes, is worth a read:
"The idea is simple: a home that is accommodating and convenient to all users at all stages of life. Universal Design principles have been around since the 1970s when the phrase was coined by architect Ronald Mace, who became director of the Center for Universal Design at The University of North Carolina."
There's nothing much new there for me - but that's probably because I just finished researching and writing an article about UD for The National Association of Homebuilders' 50+Housing Magazine. It's about how to convince Baby Boomers to consider universal design by positioning UD so it doesn't smack of 'old and infirm.'

I don't know what issue the article will be in - maybe the next one or one due out in the Spring.

22 November 2005

Marketers are Taking Note of Baby Boomers

The press release says, "The University of Maryland continues its series on the Baby Boom Generation." Don't ask me where the rest of the series is or will be.

This interview is a good one:
"The reality of the marketing opportunity presented by the aging of the Baby Boomers is beginning to be recognizedby the advertising industry, at least. I'm beginning to see more ads targeted at Baby Boomers," says Associate Professor of Business Janet Wagner at Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Students email me every so often, asking for info about this and that. Colleges and university business schools seem to be paying attention to Baby Boomers. I know this: after Advertising to Baby Boomers was selected by The Advertising Educational Foundation as a classroom resource, schools started to scoop it up. It's now in the libraries of Duke University, The Harvard Business School, Northwestern University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Michigan State University, University of Washington, and lots of others.

Hmm. Professor Chuck. I like the sound of that.....

(Back after Thanksgiving.)

21 November 2005

New Site: The Fifty Plus Market News

Frederic Serriere has expanded his influential Senior Strategic Network franchise to include a site for the U.S.: The 50 Plus Market News. Bookmark it.

I'm honored to have written a piece for the premiere issue:

Don't Paint Too Rosy A Picture

"If the myth of the non-dying, perfectly healthy Baby Boomer persists, folks in the aging industry are going to have millions of very angry octogenarians their hands."

Check out the The Mature Market International Edition - and all the other ones for the UK, France, Canada, Belgium, Spain, and Germany.

15 November 2005

Mature Market Miscellany

Even ethereal pundits get tired of their own prattle (at least this one does). I'll take a breather this week, and point you to a variety of other folks (and one big organization) having their say:

Across the pond, David Yelland of Webber Shandwick talks to Joe Lepper of Brand Republic: Over-50s need to be better targeted says baby boomers report.

No big surprise: AARP Wants You (to Buy Its Line of Products).

Brent Green tells you What Baby Boomers want for the Holidays.

Matt Thornhill has sent out another first-rate Boomer Project Newsletter for November.

And thanks to Brian Reilly of GeezerJock Magazine for his comment about my book.

I'll be back chattering away next week.

14 November 2005

My Favorite Cyber-Myth

How I snicker and roll my eyes whenever I read about Baby Boomers fumbling around on computers, scratching their heads, totally flummoxed. Sure, there is a percentage of any age group that's technologically challenged - but Boomers as a whole have embraced the internet and aren't afraid to plunge into the ether brain first.

Remember that commercial for an online travel company where a twenty-something woman is searching for a vacation and hotel for her bumbling parents? Implied: moron mom and moron dad couldn't do it themselves.

Read this article by Jeffrey Grau in iMedia Connection:
Forrester Research also found that very few online travelers start searches using the new breed of travel search engines — most likely because they are not aware of their existence … Hitwise found that visitors to the top travel search engines were by far likely to be over 55 years of age. Hitwise attributed this to baby boomers …
Madison Avenue doesn't think that anybody over forty-five can even turn on a computer. And when some youngster flips it on for them, all they probably do is stare at the virtual desktop until they nod off.