Professional Jeweler Archive: Embracing Core Values

May 2005

Cover Focus | Older Boomers: Marketing


Embracing Core Values

The leading edge of the Baby Boom is returning to its roots

By Ellen Fruchtman


I’m on the edge. Of the older Boomer demographic, that is. Older Boomers (born between 1946-1955) are significantly different from the entire Boomer generation (1946-1964). Older Boomers are now over 50 and number over 30 million. Every eight seconds another Boomer turns 50. It warms my heart.
We have an estimated annual spending power of $1 trillion. We spend 13% more than average on women’s apparel and 11% more on men’s apparel. We spend 23% more than younger Boomers on hotels and vacation homes. In a nutshell, we have disposable income and we’re not afraid to spend it.

Not Retiring

When marketing to older Boomers, it’s important to understand that our needs and responses are very different from younger Boomers.’ Though we’re quickly approaching what most of us know as our retirement years, there is no way most of us will embrace the same retirement life as our parents.

My father sold his business and retired when he was 56 – basically walking into the Florida sunset, golf clubs and all. We, on the other hand, are working harder, we’re more driven, we’re rediscovering our core values and we’re basically embarking on a new life stage. Interestingly enough, we’re even becoming more spiritual.

Message Marketing

Messages that evoke emotion are more powerful than a straight-forward approach with older Boomers. If you’re pushing product and price, you’re missing the mark. At the same time, older Boomers want more information, not less. Promotions and events that can become true experiences will be the most successful. We embrace larger gatherings, and we’re getting back in touch with socially significant causes. Companies that are philanthropic, supporting worthwhile nonprofit causes, are the most attractive to this group.

In advertising, many jewelers focus on the 18-24-year-old bridal customer, hoping to grab them as life-long customers. In reality, older Baby Boomers are spending money more frequently and more freely over the next 20-30 years, outnumbering those young adults. The size of the 50+ pie is growing, while the pie under 50 will shrink.

Ellen Fruchtman is president and founder of Fruchtman Marketing, Toledo, OH, representing independent jewelers throughout the United States. Contact her at (800) 481-3520, ellen@ fruchtman.com or www.fruchtman .com.

Appeal to older Boomers’ emotions with ads that acknowledge they’re still romantic souls. This example from Princess Plus ties into the Diamond Trading Co.’s new anniversary campaign.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications