Boomers Are Busting Out of Their Demographic
How important are boomers as consumers?
So important that we’ve broken through the traditional demographic niche, reports an international company specializing in consumer behaviour and related marketing opportunities.
“New Trend: Post-Demographic Consumerism,” declares trendwatching.com, based in London, England.
“People – of all ages and in all markets – are constructing their own identities more freely than ever…time to throw out the traditional (and tired) demographic models of consumer behaviour!’
In the UK, women now account for the majority of video game players, and there are more gamers aged over 44 than under 18.
Twitter’s fastest growing demographic between 2012 and 2013 was the 55-64 year age bracket, growing 79 per cent.
Consumers – of all demographics and in all markets – increasingly buy and use products and services from the same mega-brands: Apple, Facebook, Amazon (the technology sector is especially universal), IKEA, McDonald’s, Nike and more.
While 48 per cent of those who had used “neo-sharing” collaborative consumption platforms (such as Airbnb, Zipcar and Kickstarter) were aged 18-34, 33 per cent were aged 35-54 and 19 per cent were aged over 55.
If you look at the list of the 1,000 favourite artists for 60-year-olds and the 1,000 favourite artists for 13-year-olds, there is a 40 pet cent overlap. (George Ergatoudis, Head of Music, BBC Radio1)
The trend gurus give more examples of overlaps and crossovers — they call them “heritage heresies” — and of “cross-demographic fertilization.”
Rolls-Royce made its debut recently in the gaming world. The Rolls-Royce Wraith was added to the Xbox One game, Forza Motorsport. The in-game simulation replicates the original vehicle, down to the retractable hood ornament.
Skateboarding’s counter-cultural origins seemed very distant when New York skate store SHUT unveiled a $15,000 gold plated skateboard “polished to a mirror finish and fully functional.”
High end auction house Sotheby’s has teamed with eBay for live online auctions, allowing for real-time bids on art, watches, jewellry, antiques and fine wines.
In a pilot program, CNA language school launched the Speaking Exchange project in Brazil. Young students learning English were paired with elderly Americans living in a retirement home. Students and teachers could chat via webcam, on a range of subjects as suggested by the course. Each conversation was recorded and automatically stored on a private YouTube channel, allowing CNA’s teachers to evaluate students’ development.
Asilo Padre Cacique, a retirement home in Porto Alegre, Brazil, hosted an activity day a few weeks ago for its elderly residents, featuring a skateboard exhibition and graffiti artists.
The message here is that people of boomer age and beyond aren’t about to accept the conventions of old age or to ignore what’s new and exciting. We upended expectations about behaviour all our lives, beginning in the ‘60s and we’re not going to stop now that we’re in our 60s. Smart marketers may at last begin to realize how adamant we are about doing away with the concept of dotage.