5 myths about the ageing consumer
April 18, 2012 | By Kim Walker
A few interesting facts in this summary of the lingering myths that surround baby boomers. These emerged from the Financial Communications Society summit conference in New York on April 11, 2012.
The full article is available here in Forbes.
- They aren’t tech-savvy. False. This generation buys more Apple products than any other age group (because they can afford them). Boomers go online just as much as 18- to 39-year-olds, and are early adopters of new technology. They have Facebook accounts, go online shopping, blog, and own smart phones—especially women.
- Older people aren’t cool. Can you say Anna Wintour, Madonna, and Bono? They define cool and make today’s younger “it” girls and boys look pathetic.
- They don’t spend. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unlike their parents who survived the Depression and saved every penny, baby boomers are spending big. On average people buy 13 cars over a lifetime; about seven of those are purchased after the age of 50. The average age of an American Express card member is 57 years. After years of working and putting kids through school, paying loans, and building their nest eggs, baby boomers want to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
- They see their “golden years” as a time of relaxation. False: Eighty percent of people age 50 years and older, say that they plan to work well past their 60s if possible. They know they are going to live longer and have to budget accordingly.
- They are loyal to brands. Wrong again. Boomers are not as loyal as their parents were. After all, they have watched the cereal aisle go from five to 100 brands. Many are risk takers and adapt to change fluently. If the ’60s taught us anything about this generation it’s that baby boomers like to experiment and question norms.