Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Six Things, Marketing, Baby Boomers, and You.

My favorite grocery store, Sprouts, sells lots of organic food and healthy products. Upon entering the store, immediately to the right, are three aisles chock full of vitamins, natural shampoos, and mineral oils by brands that enjoy an undercurrent of popularity.

Straight ahead in the middle of the aisle, a fruit or two is always featured and just beyond that are packaged treats ranging from yogurt covered pretzels to trail mixes. Want to bag it yourself? Step over to the aisles of wooden barrels where you’ll also find steel oats, brown rice and walnuts.

And the music at Sprouts? Mostly 1960’s catchy tunes that makes you want to stick around because it’s so much better than any oldies station. Perhaps the most surprising tune being pumped in was “Got My Mojo Working.” Gazing around at the clientele, I’d say the average age in the store is around 60. This holds true every time I shop there.

Oh! Almost forgot. Here are the six things to consider when marketing to Baby Boomers:

#1 They work. Retirement? Fuhgeddaboudit! The recent economy caused many to rethink the “when”. Marketing a $20,000 round the world tour isn’t likely to draw a big response when money put away for retirement has evaporated, but promoting a weekend getaway to them provides an inviting break from the hum drum of everyday living.

#2 Many have moved on to second careers with their own businesses. This means they are more likely to be online, busy launching and promoting. You can reach them there. The most popular social networking sites for Baby Boomers are Classmates.com, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

#3 Many are care givers, which takes up time, energy and may be stressful. They are looking for convenience items and services, as well as ways to relax. Hello day spa, online banking, and free delivery from the local take-out restaurant.

#4 They want to look good. Having Diane Keaton hawk beauty creams and stylish clothing is appealing; let’s face it, she looks terrific! And just look at the wide choices of eyeglasses nowadays that aren’t nerdy!

#5 They have grandkids and enjoy spoiling them rotten. This doesn’t mean they’ll be frequenting Baby Gap, but it does mean buying lots of stuff and getting a good value. Shopping at Kohl’s when the holiday season selections are broad and the stores are stocked with toys combined with deep discounts is just plan smart. And lets not forgot the “fur children” too…another multi-million dollar industry that continues to boom.

#6 They want to feel good. Sprouts and Trader Joes with their emphasis on natural and healthier products are but two of the grocery chains that understand how to create the right atmosphere to attract boomers.  REI offers sports and exercise equipment and knowledgeable employees. They turn up their overall brand experience a notch by offering “outdoor school” classes including hiking, cycling, and photography.

Oops, make that seven:

#7 They enjoy great memories. Kudos to Sprouts for providing tunes that are sure to provoke a smile or two.  Speaking of music, a few smaller companies such as Sundazed make reissues of 60's and 70's music available in CD and LP formats; LPs cost more! Click here to see one of the latest examples from the band The Left Banke.

There's more than seven things to keep in mind of course. But hey, this is a blog post, not an ebook.

After reading all this you're probably thinking “Yeah, there’s already been lots of marketing aimed towards Boomers.” Just think back five years; most of what I’ve mentioned above likely wasn’t even documented in a marketing plan at that time. Congrats to all the brands that are now recognizing that 75+ million strong group and not leaving them on a shelf!

Click here for a video of “Got My Mojo Working” with Muddy Waters from 1966.

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Lisa Ladrido said...

Great song Gerry, you have me movin' in my seat!(listening while typing) Yes, they must not forget about us Baby Boomers! Going to check if we have that store here near Seattle. Thank you for another great post! Lisa

Gerry Wendel said...

You're welcome Lisa! Sprouts is in Northern California; that's the closest to where you are. I'm sure they'll continue to expand their territory, and soon you'll be dancing in the aisles too!

Shannon Grissom said...

Gotta love Sprouts :O) Great Mojo there and on this blog. Ya got it working Gerry!

Katie (Castleberg) Hatch said...

Great insight! We don't have Sprouts in Cali, but we do have Trader Joes. And I agree
With all of your points.