By Brent Green, Author of Marketing toLeading-Edge Baby Boomers
egendary guitarist and rock singer Steve Winwood gave optimism a new ringtone when he released
Back in the High Life Again
in 1986. He lyrically proclaimed:
It’s so hard to just slow down, so don’t be surprised to see me back in that bright part of town.
And what is true for the ebullient classicrocker tends to be true today for the male Boomercohort, of which Winwood is one high-profileexample. This insight arrives in contradiction tosome prevailing wisdom about Boomersegmentation opportunities.For example, several new books identify women 40+ as today’s muscle consumer. As Mary Brown and Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., co-authors of
BOOM: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer – the Baby-Boomer Woman
, observe: “She is already making the majority of household purchases,spending well over a trillion dollars a year onconsumer goods and services. And now, as bothher numbers and dollars continue to dominate theconsumer marketplace, she’s poised to turn themarketing world upside down.”
According to these authors, women “make 80percent of home improvement decisions…account for 65 percent of all new automobiles soldevery year, and purchase over 66 percent of computers.”
BOOM: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer —The Baby-Boomer Woman
, by Mary Brown & CarolOrsborn, Ph.D., Amacom, page 9
These books would lead some not to focus onBoomer men. Why bother?For one, Boomer Y chromosomes hand American business about $1 trillion annually. Foranother, gender proclivities coupled withgenerational affiliation present important targeting and business development opportunities thatdemand to be noticed.
When Demographics, Social Revolution and Business Converge
Never before in the history of this nationhave so many men entered the 50+ lifestage.Nearly six thousand Baby Boomer men turn 50every day, and a Boomer male turns 60 aboutevery 15 seconds. This inexorable march to 60+ will continue for the next seventeen years, andthen this generation’s longevity dash continuesonward toward the eighth, ninth, and tenthdecades of life. Someday, millions of Boomer men will survive beyond the average terminal ageachieved by their grandfathers and fathers.Demography by itself does not fully predictthe future course for this generation. Theidiosyncratic Boomer value set, inspired by thesocial and cultural revolutions of the 1960’s and1970’s, adds dimension to future scenarios.Generational cohorts consist of those born ina contiguous historical period. As a generationcomes of age, roughly between 15 and 25,members experience the same major events,forming
in reaction to theseevents, thereby influencing sociology and cultureof the generation. Formative experiences can have