Do You Know A Boomer?
Portland baby boomers, like all boomers, are not a rare breed.
They’re not like NFL players or Olympians. Do you know one of them?
Boomers live next door, stand in line, drive their own car.
But how do you reach them?
Check their history.
- Their Parents: It’s either the Greatest Generation from WWII, or the Silent Generation born during the Great Depression or WWII.
Boomers are torn like no other generation. They respect the old ways and strive to stay current with the new. With others, it’s all about the latest thing. Not boomers.
Reaching them breaks down into two choices: pitch nostalgia, or pitch high-tech. Make old ‘new’ again, or make new amazing and irresistible.
They ignore everything in between because like everyone else, they think they’ve got a handle on it.
Gone are the days of kids rummaging through their old man’s sock drawer and finding boxes of medals from The Forgotten War in Korea. It was called a Police Action, so young boomer asked their dad, “Were you a policeman?”
The Silent Generation said, “No,” then changed the subject. The Marine Corps doesn’t give Silver Stars and Purple Hearts for engaging conversation.
No research shows Chatty Cathy the talking doll, or any other talking toy, replaced parental conversation. They just filled in the gaps.
Boomer business marketing needs to fill the gaps, too.
- Their Cohort: Workers, students, and hippies.
In spite of the attention to freak flags and drugs, not every baby boomer tuned in, turned on, and dropped out. Not all shirked responsibilities in search of their higher power, though enough did to make a lifestyle of down and out bliss a reflection of what might have been.
What goes through boomer’s mind when they pick up a guitar and play Imagine by John Lennon?
Is it, “What went wrong,” or, “We got it started?”
Baby boomer marketing needs to stay positive. Life changed between the commune and the suburbs. Boomers became visions of their parents because they didn’t want to screw up their kids.
Even the most groovy dude can’t look at his five kids with four flower child mommas and say, “I got it right.”
Boomers care about good schools, safe cities, and a secure future.
After the Crash of 2008, it’s all been up in the air, but values hold true. Kids grow up, Detroit falls down, and the future is as uncertain as ever.
Throw boomers a bone to help them stay calm. Exercise, nutrition, and a stable stock market helps.
- Their Kids: The wanted, the surprise, the mixer.
Joe Queenan talks about his early life in ‘One For The Books.’ His dad was a high school drop out condemned to a life of hardship, but he always read books.
Queenan says he went to bed hungry more than once, but he always read books. He says he reads more than a hundred a year. One reason he explains is that real life isn’t as intriguing as the life in a book. So far he hasn’t mentioned how children cut into his reading time.
Boomers grew up before the Nanny State kicked into gear, but with one horror after another in mass media, their kids became objects to protect.
Who does boomer protect once their kids have grown? It’s not an off/on switch to flip one day.
In their search for relevance, boomers protect the environment, animals, and a way of life. They want to set an example for their kids to follow, but miss one important step.
Embracing the Sandwich Generation means reaching out to both kids and parents. They need help in planning, in finding resources, and tools to cope.
Helping kids deal with college loan debt is one thing. Enlisting mom and dad in a modern high-tech living community geared for independence, then assisted living, and finally nursing home is another.
What is the right thing to do? Let the kids work it out? Leave the old folks alone in their decisions? Or make a difference in all their lives.
Baby boomers spin harder to cover the bases than any generation before or since.
If you want to reach them, show you understand the pressure, then offer a release with peace.
Boomers love the idea of peace.
What do you offer the Boomer Market?