About Brent Green This blog is about Baby Boomer consumers and how to sell to them through marketing and advertising.
I am a marketing consultant and author of two business books: "Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers: Perceptions, Principles, Practices, Predictions" and "Generation Reinvention: How Boomers Today Are Changing Business, Marketing, Aging and the Future." I also present workshops and give speeches about the Boomer generation and business strategies.
My company, Brent Green & Associates, Inc., is an internationally award-winning firm specializing in direct response marketing for health & fitness and Boomer-focused companies. Marketing to Boomers I welcome your comments and questions here.
Please enjoy my blog commentary, which usually slides precariously on thin ice.
Media relations, media interviewing, public speaking, and leadership training for senior executives provided by veterans in PR and news reporting
Discover the future with Brent Green's new book, "Generation Reinvention: How Boomers Today Are Changing Business, Marketing, Aging and The Future."
Internationally award-winning direct response marketing for Boomer-focused companies
Brent Green & Associates is a leading marketing company with specialized expertise in selling products and services to the Boomer male market, comprised of over 35 million U.S. adults. Click here to visit our website.
Lee Eisenberg Lee Eisenberg is the author of "The Number," a title metaphorically representing the amount of resources people will need to enjoy the active life they desire, especially post-career. Backed by visionary advice from the former Editor-in-Chief of "Esquire Magazine," Eisenberg urges people to assume control and responsibility for their standard of living. This is an important resource for companies and advisors helping Boomers prepare for their post-career lives.
Kim Walker Kim Walker is a respected veteran of the communications industry in Asia Pacific, with 30 years of business and marketing leadership experience in Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York. His newest venture is SILVER, the only marketing and business consultancy focused on the 50+ market in Asia Pacific. He has been a business trends and market identifier who had launched three pioneer-status businesses to exploit opportunities unveiled by his observations.
Hiroyuki Murata Hiroyuki Murata (Hiro) is a well-known expert on the 50+ market and an opinion leader on aging issues in Japan and internationally. Among his noteworthy accomplishments, Murata introduced Curves, the world’s largest fitness chain for women, to Japan and helped make it a successful business. He is also responsible for bringing the first college-linked retirement community to Japan, which opened in Kobe in August 2008.
Hiro is the author of several books, including "The Business of Aging: 10 Successful Strategies for a Diverse Market" and "Seven Paradigm Shifts in Thinking about the Business of Aging." They have been described as “must read books” by more than 30 leading publications including Nikkei, Nikkei Business, Yomiuri, and Japan Industry News. His most recent book, "Retirement Moratorium: What Will the Not-Retired Boomers Change?" was published in August 2007 by Nikkei Publishing.
Hiro serves as President of The Social Development Research Center, Tokyo, a think-tank overseen by METI (Ministry of Economy, Technology, and Industry) as well as Board members and Advisors to various Japanese private companies. He also serves as a Visiting Professor of Kansai University and as a member of Advisory Boards of The World Demographic Association (Switzerland) and ThirdAge, Inc. (U.S.).
Generation Jones Jonathan Pontell is the founder and ardent advocate for Generation Jones, the "lost" generation between Baby Boomers and Generation X. Although this group has traditionally been lumped with Boomers, Pontell makes a powerful case to redefine this cohort as distinct from the Baby Boomer Generation.
A successful Boomer-focused magazine launch requires several magical ingredients: outstanding editorial direction, articles of topical importance to prospective subscribers, a growing market in the chosen niche, great design, upbeat photography, and innate courage by publishers to enter the highly competitive fray.
PLUS Sweden is exactly this kind of magazine.
The cover article of the first issue features Brigitte Söndergard, an admired Swedish actress and celebrity who, at 50, is finding new meaning and creative challenges in her life. The inaugural issue also includes articles about achieving a healthy diet, finding love at second sight, managing and growing retirement assets, and discovering new ways to stay in shape without risking injury.
What you can't see between the covers is an intangible sense of esprit d’ corps and mutual support that emanates from the people behind this launch. But when you meet this team, blending talented publishing professionals from TTG and Bayard, you discover that PLUS magazine is not just another periodical; it is a shared mission to articulate, illuminate and elevate life after age 50.
Having just finished an inspiring telephone conversation with Christine Crosby, editorial director of GRAND Magazine, the role of print media targeting Boomers is on my mind and a timely subject to discuss here.
As most experienced professionals in the marketing field know, magazine publishers have been traditionally reluctant to invest in lifestyle magazines targeting adults over a certain age. Their reticence can be attributed to many things, but most of my colleagues and I agree that ageism and stereotypes are significant factors.
Ageism has held publishers back largely because of advertisers' unwillingness to buy print ads in media associating their brands with adults in middle age and beyond. Stereotypes include a myth that brand preferences solidify early in life and it's unlikely that anyone in middle age or older can be swayed to switch. Allegedly, associating a brand with older adults diminishes the hip, trendy, and edgy connotations of the brand. Without consistent advertisers, magazines cannot survive.
Much has been written about the business absurdity of these flawed myths, including in my book, the first edition of which addressed this issue almost five years ago. The most recent article on this topic appeared in Barron's magazine in late February.
A recent realization in the advertising world is swelling to become a cacophony of pronouncements from enlightened observers: Boomers aren't their parents, and brand switching is a fact of this generation's consumer trajectory, from its youth in the 1950's until its ultimate disappearance at mid-century. Boomers are hardwired to consume, and brand switching is a part of the culture.
The Barron's article reinforces for about the 1000th time in business media during the last two years: "consumers aged 50-plus already spend more than $1.7 trillion on goods and services" and "the 50-plus crowd now controls 50% of all U.S. discretionary income." As I wrote in one of my articles about the Boomer business opportunity in 2004, "Duh."
Further, Boomers will not tolerate marginalization. Recent national research I conducted in collaboration with a research company revealed that a sizeable majority of Boomers agree that "ads with people my own age increase my likelihood of purchasing a product" and a sizeable majority agree that "ads capturing a sense of my generation and its unique history would increase the likelihood of me purchasing their product."
Although some goliath magazine publishers have seen and reacted to this opportunity, notably More magazine and AARP, The Magazine, those intrepid souls willing to introduce magazines targeting Boomers still must cajole an advertising industry very slow to accept demographic and generational realities. But as the Boomers' favorite bard once sang: The Times They Are A-Changin'.
During the previous year, Rodale, publisher of Men's Health magazine, engaged my firm to develop a new marketing program for its magazine targeting middle-aged men, Best Life. You can see a partial sample of the program we created here:
Further, I have been invited to be the keynote speaker to help launch another major new magazine targeting Boomers in Sweden. PLUS Sweden is a magazine that will be similar to AARP's house magazine and is the result of a strategic partnership between Bayard and TTG, two of Europe's largest and most respected publishers. The Swedish version of this magazine isn't a bold and wishful experiment; it's a sound business strategy based on the success of the PLUS brand in Holland, Germany and Belgium.
The business message to the world's great consumer brands is quite clear: magazines such as Plus Sweden and Grand are the future. Gracing the cover of Christine Crosby's publication, a "magazine for today's grandparent," are notables — many of whom are powerfully associated with Boomers when they were young — such as Donny Osmond, Tony Danza, Goldie Hawn, Paul McCartney and Harrison Ford.
As the Boomer generation continues to age, many more Boomer celebrities will proudly and loudly proclaim the virtues of being a grandparent. The less famous of this generation will be equally demonstrative in their support of media and advertisers that celebrate, rather than shun, the 50+ lifestage. They will buy magazines at newsstands and through subscriptions that resonate around their evolving, active lifestyles. They will transform industries that take advantage of the special power of print media to reach, teach and entertain.
Finally, albeit hesitantly, visionary publishers and imaginative advertisers are starting to push though ageism and stereotypes to create truly relevant and successful media and advertising campaigns.
Remember this critical fact about the generation that represents 26% of the US population: Boomers are readers. Magazines are among the most powerful media available to connect with this generation.
Senior Forums Senior Forums is a very active online community where the issues that interest Boomers are discussed, dissected, derided, defended, or downright denied in an aura of friendly chatter and banter among like-minded people.
Bring your sense of humor and join a laid-back, international forum of straight talkers who generously offer common sense to support those who need it and laugh with those who embrace the funny sides of aging.
Fierce with Age Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., invites readers and followers of her blog to join her for what promises to be an exciting, challenging and rewarding next stage, similar in transformation to earlier chapters of life that the Boomer generation traversed and reinvented over the decades. A respected Boomer business authority and author of 19 books focused on spirituality, Carol trusts that through prayer, meditation, personal and spiritual growth, Boomers have the potential to fundamentally change their lives for the good, experiencing the aging process as “a potent mix of spiritual growth and personal empowerment.”
50plusboomerlife — Boomer life - travel - fashion - facts and more! This charming blog is written with purpose and passion by Kristine Drake, a native of Norway. I met Kristine at a magazine launch event in Stockholm, and we've remained in touch. Please keep in mind that this articulate and insightful blog is being written by someone who uses English as her second language. You'd never know it unless I told you so. Norway is a magical country, so Kristine's European perspective about life after 50 enriches us all.
Fifty Is The New Forty Since 2007, FiftyIsTheNewForty.com has been a dynamic, trendy go-to destination for savvy and successful 50-something women. Interviews with prominent Boomers, articles, guest blogs and reviews. Fun, funny, informative, and relevant.
Mark Miller's "Hard Times Retirement" Mark Miller, author of "The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security," is a journalist, author and editor who writes about trends in retirement and aging. He has a special focus on how the Boomer generation is revising its approach to careers, money and lifestyles after age 50.
Mark edits and publishes RetirementRevised.com, featured as one of the best retirement planning sites on the web in the May 2010 issue of "Money" Magazine. He also writes Retire Smart, a syndicated weekly newspaper column and also contributes weekly to Reuters.com.
David Cravit's blog David Cravit is a Vice President at ZoomerMedia Ltd. and has over 30 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and consulting in both Canada and the US. His book "The New Old" (October, 2008, ECW Press and recommended here) details how the Baby Boomers are completely reinventing the process of aging – and the implications for companies, government, and society as a whole.
Silver - Boomer Marketing in Asia Pacific The only strategic business and marketing consultancy focused on 50+ in Asia Pacific, SILVER is helping companies leverage the opportunities presented by the rapidly rising population of ageing consumers throughout Asia Pacific. Founder and CEO Kim Walker is a respected veteran of the communications industry in APAC, with 30 years of business and marketing leadership experience in Australia, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York. Silver can INFORM with unique research, data and insight reports into the senior market. ADVISE to help companies increase understanding through audit of their ageing-readiness, strategic workshops, training and executive briefings. CONNECT business to the senior market through refined brand positioning plus relevant and targeted communications strategies.
VibrantNation.com VibrantNation.com is the online destination for women 50+, a peer-to-peer information exchange and a place to join in smart conversation with one another. “Inside the Nation” is Vibrant Nation Senior Strategist Carol Orsborn's on-site blog on marketing to the upscale 50+ woman. Carol, co-author of “Boom,” as well as 15 books for and about Boomers, shares her informed opinions from the heart of the demographic.
Entitled to Know Boomers better get ready for a deluge of propaganda about why Social Security and Medicare should not be secure and why these programs must be diminished and privatized. This award-winning blog, sponsored by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, provides an in-depth resource of breaking news and cogent analysis. You've been paying for these programs since inception of your career; now it's time to learn how as individuals and collectively we can preserve them for all generations.
Time Goes By This is the definitive blog to understand what is happening to a generation as it ages. Intelligent. Passionate. Humanistic.
Route 50Plus Produced by the Dutch organization Route 50Plus, this website brings news, knowledge, and information about the fifty-plus population. The Content and links can be found from more than 4000 national and international sources. Topics include fifty-plus marketing, media, new products, services, and trends. Partners of Route 50Plus include Plus Magazine, 50 Plus Beurs, SeniorWeb, Nederland Bureau door Tourisme & Congressen, Omroep MAX, De Telegraaf, MediaPlus, and Booming Experience.
Dr. Bill Thomas Under the leadership of Dr. Bill Thomas, ChangingAging.org seeks to elevate elders and elderhood in our society by taking-to-task the media, government and other interest groups who perpetuate a declinist view of aging.
Serene Ambition Serene Ambition is about what Boomers can do, and more importantly, who Boomers can be as they grow older. Blogger Jim Selman is committed to creating a new interpretation or paradigm for the second half of life
The Boomer Chronicles The Boomer Chronicles, an irreverent blog for baby boomers and others, is updated every Monday through Friday, usually several times daily.
Host Rhea is a Boston-based journalist and a Gemini who grew up in a small town in New Jersey. She has written for People magazine and The Boston Globe. She was also managing editor of Harvard University’s newspaper, The Gazette. She wrote the “Jamaica Plain (Boston)” chapter of the book WalkBoston (2003; Appalachian Mountain Club) and started a popular series of Jamaica Plain walking tours in 1996.
LifeTwo LifeTwo is a community-driven life planning and support site for adults who have recognized the speed at which days are passing by. This often begins to happen in-between the mid-30s and the mid-50s. Sometimes this recognition is triggered by a divorce, career change, personal loss or some other significant event and sometimes it is just the calendar hitting 35 or 40. The hosts' goal is to take what otherwise might become a midlife "crisis" and turn it into a positive midlife transition.
BoomerCafé.com BoomerCafé is the only ezine that focuses on the active, youthful lifestyles that boomers pursue. Instead of a brand new edition every week or every month, BoomerCafé is changing all the time, which means there’s often something new to read each time you go online at www.boomercafe.com.
Jean-Paul Tréguer Jean-Paul Tréguer is the author of "50+ Marketing" and founder of Senioragency International, the first and only international marketing and advertising network dedicated to Boomers 50+ and senior consumers.
Dick Stroud Generational and 50+ marketing is taking off in Europe, with no small thanks to the author of newly published "The 50+ Market."
David Wolfe Respected widely for his thought-leading book, "Ageless Marketing," the late David Wolfe established an international reputation for his insights, intellect and original thoughts about the future of aging. This blog carries on ageless marketing traditions in honor of David.
Matt Thornhill Boomer pundit Matt Thornhill has taken new ground with his path-breaking Boomer research. When you need fresh Boomer insights, contact Matt for original research, both online and focus group.
Chuck Nyren Chuck Nyren, author of "Advertising to Baby Boomers," is a seasoned creative director and copywriter with talent to match. Ad agencies absolutely need his counsel about any of their clients planning to target Boomers.