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    This blog is about Baby Boomers and our impact on business, society, and culture, today and in the future. Here I explore many themes relevant to those of us on a thoughtful journey to reinvent the future of aging. I am a consultant and author of six books, including "Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers: Perceptions, Principles, Practices, Predictions." I present workshops and give keynote speeches about the intersection of the Boomer generation, business, aging, and societal transformations. My company, Brent Green & Associates, Inc., is an internationally award-winning firm specializing in building brands and forming successful commercial relationships with Boomers through the unique power of generational marketing. Marketing to Boomers I welcome your comments and questions here. This blog is a continuing conversation that began in June 2005, and I'll appreciate hearing from you.

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    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.).

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    « Boomers: The Next Twenty Years — Institute for the Future | Main | Marian Salzman: Scapegoat Boomers ... A Generation of Black Sheep? »

    December 23, 2008


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    Estella Mobley

    I am 51 years of age without any modeling experience. I have noticed that chicos rarely has any women of color modeling their clothing and we do purchase their clothing. I love Chicos. I am challenging Chicos to consider me to model their clothing. You won't be disappointed. Let the challenge start now.

    Brent Green

    "In this culture, being young and thin is the ideal, and no amount of hoopla about being proud of exactly who you are will change the fact that most of us are not satisfied with our appearance."

    I can think of dozens of Boomer and older celebrity women who portray the beauty of aging without extreme Photoshop makeovers and who can sell Chico's products to their peers. Don't tell me that acceptance of aging isn't changing until you prove it empirically, with side-by-side tests pitting younger models against older, and with all other catalog variables held constant.

    I have proven the case for market realism to myself via catalogs for elementary school teachers that my company has produced. Realistic portrayals of teachers sold more products than using models portraying youthful beauty and perfection in the classroom.

    Marketers create and perpetuate cultural narratives. Shame on Chico's for profiting from Boomer women but not having the courage and thought-leadership to embrace the target audience within the pages of their catalogs.

    Literally thousands have read this article, and its parallel chapter in my new book, and of those thousands, you are the only one who has posited a defense of Chico's stubborn grasp of the status quo.

    Eventually this will cost Chico's market share because Boomer women will continue to age with their money and power, and the more Chico's disconnects its products from their maturing mindsets, the more the company will lose their business.


    Chico's is only following an age-old, time-proven formula for successful marketing - do not present an overweight 60-something model to an overweight 60-something consumer. In this culture, being young and thin is the ideal, and no amount of hoopla about being proud of exactly who you are will change the fact that most of us are not satisfied with our appearance. As an employee of Chico's, I can personally attest to the wonders of marketing and customer service that Chico's offers the women (and men, no joke) that come in the door. I'd be willing to bet my life that if Chico's (or any other retail chain aimed at the Boomers, for that matter) began using older and heavier models, sales would plummet. Don't blame the store - wake up and come to terms with the society in which we live.

    Sue Choppers-Wife

    Chicos or no is not the point of this post to's that I've actually heard the words of an enlightened man! This has always seemed just a women's topic to me; women want to see real women in advertisement and find clothes that are attractive and comfortable too. Just has never seemed to be something men cared or talked about. This post (along with all your great marketing advice) has really impressed me...I'm loving it!

    Colleen Williams

    Wonderful to see lightning strike!

    People can in all shapes and sizes at any age. Baby Boomers are a diverse group; some shapeless and others youthful for their age. There's no "correct" look to define us. Boomers will continue to celebrate life with a range of styles, not being pigeon-holed by marketing trends.

    Personally, I look for inspiration from traditional global designs and for its uplifting attitude follow (though the examples often don't suit my sensibilities).

    Susan G

    You should have gone with Coldwater Creek.

    Carol Orsborn, Ph.D.

    We've all used Chico's as an example because they seemed to be making money targeting the Boomer demographic. (Actually, I read recently that their sales are down.) But this doesn't mean Boomer women, like me, have liked their marketing strategies, let alone the clothes, themselves.

    Personally, I thought that at the Olympics, Debbie Phelps looked ridiculous in most of her outfits, most of the time. An outright embarrassment. I think Chico's fed into the questionable sense of fashion unfortunately shared by a number of "free-thinking" Boomer women who decided the cure to concerns about becoming invisible as they aged was to compensate with bling and wild patterns. Shapeless fashions hide many flaws which feeds into the misguided notion that being out of shape is all right because it is "natural."

    My guess is that portraying youthful models makes sense to a slice of the demographic in denial about aging: those who think adding on another jewel will more than compensate for the loss of the age-appropriate and distinctive sparkle of youth.

    Thank heavens there's a new movement afoot which is honoring organic aging--and experimenting with more elegant, simple styles that bring out the beauty of women who are looking their best at whatever age they happen to be, rather than trying to drown it out in a din of style fads.

    This is one of the trends I address on my blog "Inside the Nation" at My predictions for marketing to Boomer women in '09 will run this coming Tuesday, December 23.

    Any way, both the style and marketing gods forgive you, Chico's!

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