Research Reveals Marketing Opportunities in the Baby Boomer Generation
For many years, marketers have focused upon
consumers feel that the ages of 34 promote products. Marketers wooing consumers
early in life will ensure that they become lifetime customers. While this seems
logical research is revealing that Baby Boomers might be a more profitable
demographic. Statistics show that while spending Millennials actually
shrinking, Baby Boomer spending has been increasing. Baby Boomers are estimated
to ha $3.4 trillion in annual buying power The Baby Boomer generation is vastly
different from the generations preceding i Baby Boomers desire to have a
variety of products available to them. Many of the products traditionally
thought to belong to the younger generation are and the With approximately 20
percent technological products. of the U.S. population estimated to be 65 years
or older by 2030, marketers are beginning to research better ways for marketing
to Baby Boomers. In one study researchers attempted to understand ho consumers
shop and interact in stores. Because store marketers often target younger
generations of consumers.little thought has been given to how accessible these
stores are for older generations The research design involved equipping a
person with gloves, neck braces, helmets, blurry goggles, and other equipment
to simulate how a person in his or her 70s with arthritis is feeling.
Researchers would then observe how the person takes items off of shelves, gets
into his or her car, and gets up from chairs This research has been shared with
many businesses who have interpreted the findings to create a retail
environment better suited to this demographic. CVS, for instance has lowered
its shelves, made its store lighting softer, and installed magnifying glasses
for hard-to-read labels. Other businesses are using this information to
redesign their prod Foods Inc., for example, has designed the packaging of its
Emerald snack nuts to be easier to open at help for older consumers whose hands
become less mobile as they age. The company also studied consumers with
arthritis and decreased the time it takes to rotate the caps to open its
products Additionally, Baby Boomers have created a opportunity for businesses
to market entirely new products. Baby Boomers tend to embrace fitness and
exercise regimens as a way to stay fit and prolong their lives. Technology
firms products to be installed are seeing an opportunity to develop in
the homes of olde consumers. These products monitor the movements of the
inhabitants and alert family or expert if there are any changes in the
inhabitants’ movements. A decrease in mobility could signal a change in the
person’s physical and mental state, which may require medical attention.
Although these devices might otherwise seem intrusive, Baby Boomers’ desires to
stay healthy and prolong life are increasing their demand. Many Baby Boomers
are also concerned with preserving their more youthful appearance. Lingerie
maker Maidenform has created shapewear, or clothes that help to
“tone” the body, targeted toward those ages 35 to 54 here is one
description that marketers must avoid when marketing to Baby Boomers: any words
or phrases that make them feel old. Marketing research has revealed that Baby
Boomers do not like to be reminded that they are aging. Therefore, many
marketing initiatives aimed at old consumers must be subtle. For this reason,
Diamond Foods does not market the fact that its packages are easier to open
because it does not want to make Baby Boomers feel aged Even marketers of
products that are for older people have overhauled their promotional campaigns
to focus less on th concept of aging. Kimberly-Clark’s Depend brand for
incontinence was widely regarded as “adult diapers.” negative This
connotation led many to avoid them. To try to counteract this the released
commercials that discus benefits of the product also tried to the brand by its
similarity in look and feel to under wear. Many other businesses that sell
similar products are following suit Although marketers have long focused on
Millennials, demand for products by Baby Boomers is changing the ways that
businesses market to consumers. Marketing re ways to the Baby and creating the
goods and services that best meet their needs.
This case illustrates how a variety of marketing research techniques
can help marketers meet the needs of a target market. Baby Boomers area profitable
demographic, and with approximately 20 percent of theU.S. population estimated to be 65
years or older by 2030, marketers are beginning to research better ways to market
to this population.Baby Boomers desire to have a variety of products available
to them, and many of the products traditionally thought to belong to the
younger generation are actually bought the most by older generations, such as cars
and technological products. As they age, Baby Boomers are also creating a
market for new products and services.
Questions for Discussion
Why are Baby Boomers such a lucrative market?
Baby Boomer spending has been increasing,
and they are estimated to have $3.4 trillion in annual buying power. Baby
Boomers desire to have a variety of products available to them, and many of the
products traditionally thought to belong to the younger generation are actually
bought the most by older generations, such as cars and technological products.
With approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population estimated to be 65
years or older by 2030, the spending potential for this market is growing.
How has the marketing research process been used to understand how
Baby Boomers shop and interact in stores?
Because marketers often target younger
generations of consumers, little thought has been given to how accessible
stores and products are for older generations. Businesses are using marketing
research to understand the customer preferences of Baby Boomers, including how
they shop, what they desire in products, and how to customize promotions to
attract this lucrative demographic.
How have stores used marketing research findings to tailor their
stores and products to appeal to Baby Boomers?
Many businesses have used marketing
research findings to customize their retail environments and their products.
CVS lowered its shelves, made its store lighting softer, and installed
magnifying glasses for hard-to-read labels. Diamond Foods Inc. designed the
packaging of its Emerald snack nuts to be more easily opened and decreased the
time it takes to rotate the caps to open its products. However, because Baby
Boomers don’t like to be reminded that they are getting older, companies avoid
directly mentioning how their changes help “aging” consumers.
Refines the Customer Experience
Seattle-based company that popularized the coffee cultureis brewing up higher
sales through new beverages and new cafes in global markets.
A stop at
Starbucks has become part of many consumers’ daily routines. Some are attracted
by the high-quality, brewed-to-order coffees, while others look forward to
relaxing and socializing in the third placebetween home and work.
Starbucks has researched and refined every
aspect of the customer experience, from the size of its coffees (tallis
actually small) to the number of minutes that customers spend waiting in line.
To speed up purchases, it offers a pay-by-cell phone option called mobile
pay.Consumers with iPhone or Android cell phones simply download the app and
let cashiers scan the Starbucks code on the screen during checkout. The app
links to the customer’s Starbucks Card, which combines the rewards of a loyalty
program with the convenience of a prepaid card for making purchases. Mobile pay
is a big hit: in its first 15 months, customers used their cell phones to make
more than 42 million payments to Starbucks.
Well established in the intensely competitive
U.S. market, Starbucks is growing much more quickly in Asian markets. The
company will soon have 1,500 cafes and 30,000 employees in China, where consumers
drink, on average, just three cups of coffee every year. By opening in more
locations and encouraging consumers to bring their friends for coffee and
conversation, Starbucks aims to increase demand and boost sales throughout
China. In Japan, where Starbucks now has more than 1,000 cafes, consumers have
long enjoyed the tradition of meeting in neighborhood coffee shops.
Through market research, Starbucks stays in
touch with what its customers like and what their lifestyles are like. Coffee
lovers are still buying their espressos or lattes, but they’re also looking for
a healthier lifestyle,says a Starbucks executive. In response to this trend,
the company bought Evolution Fresh, which makes premium juices, and opened its
first Evolution Fresh store in Bellevue, Washington. On the menu: all-natural,
freshlyblended drinks from nutritious fruits and vegetables, plus salads and
wraps. Over time, Starbucks is adding Evolution Fresh drinks to the menu in all
of its cafes and opening additional Evolution Fresh stores on the East and West
Coasts. Although expanding into
fresh juices means competing with Jamba Juice
and other rivals, Starbucks is relying on its brand-building expertise to juice
up this part of its business.
Taking note of consumer interest in energy
drinks, which has blossomed into an $8 billion market, Starbucks has also
launched Starbucks Refreshers, a line of carbonated drinks with more than half
the caffeine content of an espresso shot. Available in supermarkets and in
Starbucks cafes, these all-natural drinks combine green, unroasted coffee with
fruit juices for a fruity, non-coffee flavor. To gain significant market share,
Starbucks must battle Red Bull, Rockstar, and other well-known marketers of
Starbucks also believes in social
responsibility. It offers health-insurance benefits to both part-time and
full-time employees and donates generously to community projects. It also
protects the environment by recycling in every cafe and constructing buildings
designed to save energy and water. Finally, the company follows ethical
purchasing practices to ensure that coffee growers get a fair price for their
Starbucks is popular in the United States
thanks to its focus on the customer experience. While the company continues to
improve its American stores through innovations such as mobile pay, Starbucks
is also expanding globally, especially in Asian markets. It is also
diversifying; Starbucksrecently purchased premium-juice company Evolution Fresh
and is adding the company’s nutritious blended drinks to the traditional
Starbucks menu. Starbucks plans to open more Evolution Fresh stores as the
demand for healthy foods increases. The company is also competing with energy
drink companies after releasing its all-natural Starbucks Refreshers. Starbucks
is also promoting its focus on social responsibility.
In terms of situational influences and level of involvement, what
are the benefits of mobile pay?
working to keep customers involved by creatingroutinized response behavior. Mobile pay reduces search-and-decision
effort, and the ease of payment and accumulation of Starbucks rewards makes it
easy for their customers to prefer Starbucks as a brand. Starbucks is also
taking advantage of customers’ momentary conditions to make sure they have an
easy and fast way to pay.
With Evolution Fresh, which psychological influences on consumer
buying decisions does Starbucks seem to be addressing?
Motives, attitudes, personalities, and lifestyles are all important to
Starbucks. With Evolution Fresh,Starbucks is primarily
addressing consumers’ attitudes, especially perceptions and interpretations of
the company. By providing products such as smoothies, juices, salads, and
wraps, Starbucks is creating the impression that it cares about consumers’
health and is working to fit into their healthy lifestyles.
Why would Starbucks want customers to know that it believes in
Starbucks wants to improve consumers’ perceptions and interpretations of the
company and its actions. If consumers believe the company values ethical and
socially responsible behavior, they will be more involved with the brand and
more willing to purchase the company’s products.