Boomers are the largest generation of consumers in the history of mankind. They expect to take it all and have done a pretty fine job of having it all. As the first generation to grow up in “a better world” post-World War II, they are projected to control more than 70% of the U.S. disposable wealth over the next several years. Which makes it especially crucial to understand—and tap into—judging what it is they want from brands.
So how do you connect with this affluent market? First, it’s important to focus on where Boomers are in their life stage and what motivates them. This highly self-accomplished group has moved beyond the material-gathering phase to the latter half of their lives, where they aim to bask in the rewards of wisdom, knowledge and most importantly, experiences. If there’s one thing that Boomers crave, it’s immersive experiences that that go beyond the digital.
This is not to say that Boomers have not engaged in the digital revolution. They created it, after all. But they also remain largely loyal to the value of analogue interactions and savor the context surrounding a product often more than the product itself. We know this demographic values the reward of the wait for a reservation at Per Se. They value a Gucci bag purchased in Paris over the same one purchased at home, and they will willingly travel across the world to connect, be inspired and socialize.
We call that “Conversational Capital.” When we created a Montreal-based executive conference with Cirque du Soleil, the concern was real – will people show? The answer was a resounding yes – Boomer executives are in search of personal connections and live experiences in this antiseptic world of screens. Whilst the Millennials focus on the virtual, Boomers are out in the real world, embracing the real, human interactions presented to them. They value the belief that experiences shape one’s identity, an identity they have sculpted without restraint in their 50-plus years instead of the fickle digital social scrutiny so popular today.