10 January 2009

Another Industry Is Catching Up

So far this year not much new in news stories about Baby Boomers.  Here’s one I’ve already blogged:

nielsenBoomers: The Overlooked Media Sweet Spot
For media planners and buyers, step one is understanding the importance of Boomers in terms of spending power.

Now another industry is catching up:

usatoday Older folks like Wii, PCs and cellphones, too 
by Edward C. Baig
The topic of technology and aging takes center stage this weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On Saturday, CES hosts the first Silvers Summit, a showcase for products and services dedicated to keeping aging Boomers engaged, entertained and healthy.

lat Grandparents get their widgets on
by Michelle Maltais
The boomer demographic is relatively tech savvy. More than 7 million own gaming systems even though they aren't parents, and 29 million own digital video recorders … Though seniors get their own tech summit at CES, products oriented specifically toward them occupy only a small section of the show floor. But the summit's founder said the growth potential could become too seductive to ignore. "Boomers are going to demand that these things are there -- for themselves and their parents," Raskin said.

Tech Marketers' Next Opportunity: Boomers
by Laurie Sullivan
onlinemediaIncreasingly savvy baby boomers - who … control billions in disposable income - could be the target for tech marketers during the next few years…

Two quotes from my book, originally published in early 2005:


And there are dozens of posts on this blog that gab about Boomers and technology.

ces But it’s fun to read about the many products showcased at The Consumer Electronics Show.

09 January 2009

Chico’s and Younger Women

bg Here’s something that tickled me:

Colleague and intrepid blogger/marketer Brent Green recently posted about Chico’s and their catalog:

Chico's and Baby Boomer Women ... NOT
chicos2 A few days ago I was visiting my neighbors Paul and Julie and noticed a Chico’s catalog … I started casually flipping pages. And flipping more. And backtracking and re-flipping. I became aghast, so I counted photos. In the “25th Anniversary Collections” catalog I counted sixty-two photos. Sixty-one photos depict women comfortably under 40. Most appear to be between 25 and 35.

I talked about Brent and his observations in recent online presentation, also mentioning a post of mine from July 2008:

Demand for Older Models Grows

wsjNow the Wall Street Journal reports that Chico’s CEO has “stepped down”:

Amid Sales Slump, Chico's Taps New CEO
By Jennifer Saranow

One of the main reasons for the shakeup?  Brent Green knew it instinctively:

chicos Spotlight blames Mr. Edmonds for the retailer's missteps, including turning off Chico's core baby boomer customers by trying to reach younger women…

08 January 2009

Boomers: The Overlooked Media Sweet Spot

Not much new here, points I’ve been making for years in television/radio/print/web news interviews, articles, my book, this blog, during consulting and speaking engagements – although it’s nice to see the industry finally catching up:
Boomers: The Overlooked Media Sweet Spot
nielsen2 For media planners and buyers, step one is understanding the importance of Boomers in terms of spending power. Step two is evaluating how well the current media strategy delivers against Boomers—then making necessary changes.
Nielsen also blogged it, if you feel like commenting.
For example:
The Nielsen/Hallmark analysis revealed that there was no clear distinction between Boomer households and younger households in terms of brand loyalty. In fact, Boomer households may actually be less brand loyal.
A quote from a review of my book (the 2005 edition) by Dr. Joyce M. Wolburg of Marquette University, published in The Journal of Consumer Marketing:
A second favorite excuse of agencies is: "Baby Boomers don't change brands" (p. 52, italics in original). Nyren dismantles this excuse nicely with examples of brand switching, and he further acknowledges that in cases where loyalty to a brand does exist, marketers who do not target Boomers give them no reason to change.
Read the full review. (PDF)
A Handful of Related Posts:
Forgotten Consumers
Study: TV's youth obsession backfiring
The steady glow of the Boom tube
Television programmers take note of the Silver Tsunami
Calcified Advertising Agencies
The Media & Baby Boomers: Joined At The Hip
CNBC, Hampton, Jerry and Me

06 January 2009

Retailers Aren't Sensitive to the Needs of Baby Boomers

An email:

I'm a 48 year old baby boomer re-entering the world of advertising. I've been absent over the last 18 years, got into commission sales with my husband and lost track…

Sharpie I feel like Rip Van Winkle who woke up in Back To the Future in the world of advertising. Did I miss anything? Never knew a sharpie marker and layout paper was destined to be programmed, digitalized, so sophisticated, in a different language - and then had to be plugged in.

I do have a gripe over the advertising in this last holiday season. The retailers aren't sensitive to the needs of the baby boomers. Especially in women's clothing. I've repeatedly read over the years that many baby boomers are in extend and plus sizes - but it’s not reflected in the departments in the stores. Those departments are the smallest department with little available.

I did without this go around. I have plenty of winter clothes, nice stuff, some I haven't even worn - so I didn't buy anything. I shop all over the place, not loyal to any retail or grocery store.

I'm tempted to do a marketing study for a major retailer I once worked for as a newspaper artist, and take pictures of what people are really wearing.  I’ll start in malls. You'd be surprised what’s shown in the stores vs. what people are wearing.

I currently live in Houston. Like I said I'm not loyal to anyone. I even buy at Wal-Mart. But now I weigh carefully as to what I buy, going for value, not just price.

I've been studying television and there's a lot of great creative going on, but I guess it’s not working because of the state of the economy. They're still running commercials with a  sense of urgency like if you don't hurry in they'll all be gone! That approach alone kept me from shopping. Like I’m responsible for them overcharging me all these years, seducing me with credit cards and making me feel like I'm responsible for bailing them out when they’re threatening to lay me off? Maybe they should humbly lower the interest rates on their cards, even give time-framed zero percent interest promotions on their store cards.

And one more thing about what’s going on in the world of advertising: the creative on television is great, but my husband, your average consumer, isn't impressed. He thinks all the advertising people have all this digital software and are trying to outdo each other! I’ve been studying it on the receiving end for the last 18 years. I don't want all this crap thrown at me. I want something specially selected for me at a value price and I want it available in my size.

Stop hyping and seduce me back into the store.

Paula Melton