They want to do business with those that not only provide sought-after experiences but want a relationship with them and will take actions to maintain that relationship. They also expect outstanding personal service and, if they get it, they will keep coming back and tell their friends.
We thought it might be more helpful to readers of this column if we compare today's Boomers at ages 55-64 to the spending the Silent Generation did 10 years ago at the same age. Oops. There's no comparison.
If they expect to prosper, companies have an obligation to tell older consumers how their brands and products add value to their lives. And, we have an obligation to provide these companies with the foundational knowledge from which they can develop appropriate products, services and marketing plans that will serve all Boomers -- even those who may soon be characterized as "old."
Markets must recognize the opportunity they may be missing by not speaking to women, or by assuming "household behavior" versus individual spending.
Marketers who want to follow Nielsen's advice should consider telling Boomers, who more than other generations seek recognition for their ability to change the world, "You've made us understand why we were wrong. We can't afford to ignore you. So let's start talking."