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Generational Branding to the Baby Boomers

Today’s Tip

Best Practice: Branding to Baby Boomers (people between 1946-1964) requires an individualized strategy based on their age buying patterns.

Baby boomers

Today’s Article:  Generational Branding to Baby Boomers

Branding insights for people born between 1946-1964.

Generation Profile
Size of Generation: Largest of the generations
Age Range: 50-70+
Potential Customer Marketing Years: 10-30+ years
Disposable Income: $$$$$ (Highest due to two income families and reaching higher income potential of their careers).

Overview of Generation – Look for ways to connect with this generation
Boomers have defined themselves by their education, careers, working long hours, being team players, status, and accomplishments. Many baby boomers plan to continue working into retirement and are interested in learning new skills and setting new goals. They have a desire to make a difference and open to volunteering.

Many baby boomers are reaching or have reached the peak in their career with higher incomes. In addition, there is a pattern of both spouses working. Boomers’ median household income is 55% greater than post-Boomers and 61% more than pre-Boomers. They have an average annual “disposable” income of $24,000 (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey).

Baby Boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion each year on consumer goods & services (US Government Consumer Expenditure Survey). Baby Boomers account for nearly $230 billion, or 55%, of consumer packaged goods sales (Nielsen). Boomers outspend younger adults online 2:1 on a per-capita basis (Forrester Research). Paradox: They spend more, but do not feel they will be financially secure when they get older.

Home is important to Baby Boomers. 27% have had landscaping done in the past year and they are 21% more likely than all American adults to have spent $10,000 or more on home improvement in the past year (Scarborough). The NAHB predicts that the Aging In Place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion. That’s about 10% of the $214 billion home improvement industry. 96% of baby boomers participate in word-of-mouth or viral marketing by passing product or service information on to friends (Third Age and JWT Boom).

Baby Boomers are more tech savvy than previous generations. Online trends for Baby Boomers: they have broadband internet in their homes, use the internet daily, have personal email and use it regularly to shop online and buy from e-retailers, and are current tablet and smart phone users. The Internet is the most important source of information for baby boomers for major market purchases, such as automobiles or appliances (Zoomerang). The top four online websites for people over 60 are Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube (AARP). LinkedIn is used for Baby Boomers in their career.

To better connect with this group offer cash-back savings programs that reflect spending levels. They are receptive to up selling, consider offering discount programs for buying more items at one time.

Boomers are filled with high expectations, feel overloaded, overworked and a feeling of not having enough time to fit everything in a day and their life. Look for ways to help them save time, simplify their life and make decisions – example: monthly clubs where they receive books on tape, wine, fruit, coffee delivered to their home. Drive through services and meals to go are other examples.

Family is important to Boomers. They are reaching a point in their life where they are becoming empty nesters with children leaving home, marrying, and having grandchildren. It is not uncommon for them to be caregivers of their aging parents and their children, and are caught in the “sandwich generation”.

There are seven phrases to avoid in communicating with Baby Boomers: senior citizen, retiree, aging, Golden Years, Silver Years, mature, and prime time of life. What is important to them is their health, slowing aging, and wellness. Increasing weight is an issue, along with eating healthier and consuming more organic foods.

In the next ten years, U.S. baby boomers will increase their annual spending on wellness-based services from approximately $200M to $1 trillion (Paul Zane Pilzer, The Next Trillion).

Baby Boomers want to be in charge of their own destiny and enjoy the “good life.”  As a generation they are more optimistic, interested in self-help, focused, but are suspicious of authority. They are known for being the “ Me Generation” and materialism.


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Action Step: If this age group represents your primary or secondary customer, when creating and implementing your brand connect with this audience. If not, click on the link below to return to generational brands.

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