SAN FRANCISCO — Where do you focus your sales and marketing efforts? What percentage of your business-building budget is allocated to generations who are less than 55 years old versus 55+?
Most dry cleaners are rightly reaching out to GenXers, Millennials (also known as Gen Y), and now even Gen Z upon their career entry, but Boomers are viewed as old news and retiring out of the market.
Don’t let that conventional wisdom mislead you into taking them for granted. Their egos are still alive and well, whatever their current lifestyle.
“As of 2019, the breakdown by age looks like this:
• Baby Boomers: Baby Boomers were born between 1944 and 1964. They’re currently between 55-75 years old (76 million in U.S.).
• Gen X: Gen X was born between 1965 - 1979 and are currently between 40-54 years old (82 million people in U.S.).
• Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 25-39 years old.
• Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old (31 million people in U.S.).
• Gen Y.2 = 29-39 (42 million people in U.S.).
• Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation to be named and were born between 1995 and 2015. They are currently between 4-24 years old (nearly 74 million in U.S.).”
Targeting younger generations is essential to the continuation of the fabricare business.
However, the following statistics warn against ignoring the generation that has made the business profitable for most of their lives. Boomers control the money!
To appreciate just how much they control the money, run the sales of your top 50 customers and count how many of them are Baby Boomers.
“Baby Boomers control more than two-thirds of the disposable income in the U.S. According to a recent survey, Baby Boomers are projected to have 70% of all U.S. disposable income over the next five years. Not only that, but Baby Boomers will inherit about $15 trillion in the next 20 years. Surprisingly, AARP finds that this group is targeted by just 5%-10% of all marketing efforts.”
“Spending by individuals in the 50+ demographic is expected to rise to $4.74 trillion over the next 20 years, which represents a 58 percent increase, according to AARP’s Venture Capital Review in 2013. By comparison, the spending by Americans ages 25-50 is only expected to grow by 24 percent over the same timeframe.”
“Almost from the time they were conceived, Boomers were dissected, analyzed, and pitched-to by modern marketers, who reinforced a sense of generational distinctiveness.”
(Gillon, Steve (‘04) Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation Ever, and How It Changed America, Free Press, “Introduction” ISBN 0-7432-2947-9)
“Each generation has been in the workforce for different lengths of time and accumulated varying degrees of wealth.
- Baby Boomers have an average net worth of $1,066,000 and a median net worth of $224,000.
- GenXers average net worth is around $288,700, but the median is $59,800.
- Millennials have an average net worth around $76,200, but their median net worth is only $11,100.
- Gen Z’s average net worth is difficult to report on since so much of the generation has no net worth or career.”
Boomers are accustomed to being the focus of attention and don’t want to be forgotten now, even as the generations behind them are catching up in sheer numbers. Remember, they are the first generation to reach the 76 million mark.
They are also associated with the spending trends and narcissism of the “Me” generation and are known for the major impact they have had on the culture, the economy, ethical values, healthcare, politics, real estate and history as referenced in the book, The Pig and the Python: How to Prosper from the Aging Baby Boom by David Cork.
• “Boomers are brand-loyal.
• They are responsible for 80 percent of all luxury travel.
• They buy more new cars than other generations.
• They hold 80 percent of all money in savings and loan associations.
• They earn 47 percent of all income in America.
• Business owners are twice as likely to be Boomers than millennials.
• Nearly two-thirds of Boomers expect to work past 65.
• They do not discuss finances with family.
• They are helping to support their adult children.
• They make up over 41 percent of consumer spending.”
If 70% of all disposable income is controlled by this group, it is good for business to know what they are about now. A few of their psychographic characteristics include:
“Media consumption: Highest consumers of traditional media like television, radio, magazines, and newspaper. However, 90% have a Facebook account.
Banking habits: Prefer to go into a branch to do transactions.
Shaping events: Post WWII optimism, the cold war, and the hippie movement.
What’s next on their financial horizon: Unexpectedly, this generation is experiencing the highest growth in student loan debt. They have a belief that you should take care of your children enough to set them on the right course but don’t plan on leaving any inheritance.”
“Memorable events: the Cold War (and associated Red Scare), the Cuban Missile Crisis, assassinations of JFK, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., political unrest, walk on the moon, risk of the draft into the Vietnam War or actual military service during the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, social experimentation, sexual freedom, drug experimentation, the Civil Rights movement, Environmental movement, Women’s movement, protests and riots, and Woodstock.
“Key characteristics: experimental, individualism, free spirited, social cause oriented.
“Boomers are often associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement, and the ‘second-wave feminist cause,’ of the 1970s.”
Check back Thursday for the conclusion.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].