Posted in on January 28, 2011

Come! (Good Baby Boomer)

Wheaten TerrierOur Wheaten Terrier, Bailey, is now a year and a half old.  He’s exuberant, fun, a bit of a teenager.  Morning walks are spent with his leash in my pocket as he keeps pace.  Bailey is always racing off after bunnies in our tiny, rural community, dashing in and out of neighbor’s yards, and quickly returning to me.

A little while ago he stopped coming back when I called.  “Come!”  Bailey would not.  He’d scamper just out of reach, all the way home.  “Come!” No response.

After a few days I was frustrated and ready to give in to his direction.   “Fine,” I muttered.  “Let’s go.”

Bailey was immediately by my side.

For marketers, perhaps there’s a lesson in this.  Maybe we’re trying too hard to convince mature consumers to “come”?  Most marketing materials try to persuade boomers and seniors to see things our way, to stop what they’re doing/thinking and buy into our vision of healthcare, aging or retirement.

What if we instead invited Boomers to “go”?  It’s more of a call to action, to keep moving forward.  And as Brent Green describes the Baby Boomers in his new book, Generation Reinvention, this is a generation that has always been about action, exploration and change.

In their teens, they questioned authority and insisted on a more egalitarian society through their consciousness revolutions. In their young adult years, they popularized new industries such as personal computing and natural products. In middle age, they have become dominant consumers of luxury products, automobiles, educational travel, financial services, second homes, healthcare services, and more.

With a majority over age 50, Boomers are already changing many traditional business practices and institutions, from advent of medical tourism to later-life entrepreneurialism. They are still shaping popular culture, from blockbuster films to stadium filling rock concerts.

Baby Boomers in particular have demonstrated they don’t want to follow anyone else’s playbook.  If marketers invite them to “go,” our service or product can be a part of the journey they’re on.  It might even open up a new path of discovery or reinvention.  Start something amazing instead of being forced to stop.

What do you think?  Is it time to GO instead of COME?

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