Spring cleaning.Two scary words for many Boomers. Possibly a marketing opportunity for you.
Most of us approach the thought of spring cleaning with some trepidation—it’s great to have everything organized and to get rid of useless objects that have accumulated over the years, but it’s tiresome to have to go through everything and slightly nerve-wracking to have to decide what to throw out.
For Boomers, spring cleaning is often far more unnerving.
As we become older, we become more emotional, often attaching strong feelings to inanimate objects: a dress you no longer fit into reminds you that you were once admired in it; a chipped, unusable china set brings back memories of Sunday dinners you cooked when the children were young; Frank Sinatra records remain, although you no longer have a record player.
Sure, we could spring clean around these items, but none of us likes confronting memories that are now tinged with a sense of loss, so we just push the entire spring cleaning issue from our minds. The result is that the homes of many Boomers and, even more frequently, seniors, look like candidates for “Hoarders” episodes. Boomers want to spring clean, but marketers have to help them.
Because spring cleaning does have such positive connotations, this is the time of year for companies with appropriate products and services to ramp up their Boomer marketing.
Let’s start with retirement communities.
We’re finding that our retirement community clients are obtaining excellent results with spring downsizing seminars. We suggest that they hold these seminars in partnership with organizations like Clutter Stoppers. These organizations are generally willing to send a speaker gratis and are an excellent draw.
Here’s another marketing possibility.
Many Boomers have difficulty convincing infirm parents to move into assisted-living communities. A spring cleaning rubric under which an assisted living community with occupancy issues offers to underwrite the cost of a moving coordinator to work with a parent on his or her downsizing issues is often more persuasive than a cash discount incentive—it strikes at the heart of the senior’s concerns about moving.
Taking advantage of and utilizing a spring cleaning theme targeted to Baby Boomers is far from limited to retirement communities.
If for no other reason than that they’ve been on the planet longer than Millennials, Boomers have had more opportunities and funds to accumulate “things,” making spring cleaning campaigns more meaningful to this cohort than to younger ones. Exciting Boomer interest through carefully honed language and visuals targeted specifically to them may be far more bottom-line significant to your company than using a broader brush that paints a picture less specific to seniors in an attempt to woo younger generations.
That’s why we’d recommend that closet organizer manufacturers, storage solution companies and professional organizers consider ramping up Boomer-specific marketing under the spring cleaning banner.
Also, any type of charity that accepts goods should capitalize this season on a spring cleaning theme. Examples would be Goodwill Industries, The Salvation Army and Dress for Success (donations of women’s work apparel). Many religious organizations and community groups accept donations for rummage sales and for aid to the poor. Spring cleaning is a good excuse to elicit donations of goods and is a campaign idea worthy of exciting local media about partnering in the marketing efforts.
Last but not least, let’s not forget those consignment shops, thrift shops, antique shops, and antique watch and jewelry stores that specialize in and need specific items that higher income, 50 - 75 year olds might own. These businesses should consider the cost feasibility of developing spring cleaning marketing programs. Many in the Boomer age category are feeling a financial pinch, and spring cleaning is one way to justify letting go of that diamond brooch or Cartier watch you never wear.
Spring. What a good time of year to put on your Boomer marketing hat!