THE BLOG
02/19/2013 12:25 pm ET Updated Apr 21, 2013

Why Making Your Business 'Baby Boomer-Friendly' Is a No-Brainer!

I recently posted a list of awesome discounts for 50+ customers at restaurants and stores, and it got me thinking about what other trends businesses need to adopt in order to make their products and services baby boomer-friendly. Advertisers might be obsessed with the 18-35 set, but the mature population is one of the fastest growing demographics in America. If you want to see a boost in your business and stay ahead of the game, then you absolutely need to learn to how to effectively cater to the 50+ market.

The Market is Trending Towards Baby Boomers

One example that I've used in the past is updated ski resorts that are specifically catered toward senior and boomer skiers, but it certainly doesn't stop there. In addition to providing services that are targeted to older adults, you also need to invest in advertising that appeals to them. In fact, Aging 2.0 recently put together a retrospective on this year's Super Bowl commercials, and how there was much more of a focus on the 50+ than in previous years. In fact, some say Super Bowl commercials are the biggest market indicators of where the consumer mindset is headed, so if they're targeting baby boomers with their marketing, then you should be too!

The Buying Power of Baby Boomers

Need more convincing? Think about the 50+ population as a whole. They not only wield enormous purchasing power since they make the major decisions in their households, but according to "BOOM: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer" these aging parents account for 80% of the consumer goods market. Additionally, in the USA Today series "Senior Moment: Boomers Turn 65" from a couple years back, they noted that baby boomers are accumulating much more wealth than their younger counterparts, accounting for $2.9 trillion in consumer spending in 2009. Don't know why that's significant? Despite the 2008 recession, baby boomer spending was up an astonishing 45% as compared to the previous ten years, that's why!

Baby Boomers and the Family

Of course, that doesn't mean that older adults spend their money willy-nilly. Baby boomers are also concerned about their futures and their family's future, as evidenced by a post from Forbes about how baby boomers are starting to spend less on frills. Instead, they're worried about helping out their adult children and paying off mortages. Family is one of the highest priorities among baby boomers, so services that cater to those feelings will resonate with them -- especially since grandparents are providing more financial support to their grandchildren than ever before, according to MetLife's Mature Market Institute. Financial institutions are taking advantage of this trend by providing retirement and pension plans that older adults can pay into for their loved ones, such as brightpeak financial's Gift a GRiP program. Targeted services like these are definitely the key when it comes to appealing to aging parents.

It's Time to Focus on Baby Boomers!

As you can see, the 50+ population is still a swiftly developing consumer market, and it's hitting an all-time high in terms of global aging. While catering to baby boomers may not necessarily fit into every business's products and services, these examples show that they're definitely a demographic that deserves closer attention from you and your business. I think you'll be surprised at how well the 50+ will respond to your company if you just take the time to make it baby boomer-friendly with products and services meant especially for them.