January 16, 2013

Baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, still have most of the disposable income in this economy. In fact, they have weathered the great recession far better than younger consumers and they will continue to be a driving consumer force for another decade. But as I mentioned in my last post about late night TV, savvy businesses are realizing that consumers in their 20s, 30s and early 40s rival the size of the baby boomer generation. These consumers are now looking for less expensive products that they “perceive” as having real brand value (i.e. they admire the brand and want to be able to afford it).

That’s one reason Apple is working on a less expensive iPhone. They want to use their brand leadership to capture younger cell phone users from Android, Google and Microsoft. They are not alone. BMW just unveiled a new 3 Series sedan with a starting price about $4,000 less than its current least-expensive $37,000 3 Series. Mercedes-Benz’s new 4-cylinder sedan could be priced below $30,000. And Audi is also working on a 2014 version of its A3 compact with a price in the mid- to high $20,000 range.

If your core consumer is the baby boomer, you need to continue to market to them. But you also need to be asking yourself what are you doing to make sure your product or service appeals to consumers in their 20s, 30s and early 40s? It will probably take a different product and pricing strategy.

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