Friday, April 4, 2008

Here Come the U-Boomers

Some sharp folks at McKinsey have identified what they think is a big consumer segment largely ignored by markters: "U-Boomers."

The "U" stands for (are U ready?): financially unprepared yet undaunted and uncompromising baby boomers (we would have called them "unBoomers" because that takes us back to the days of 7Up's uncola, and we're all about marketing).

Seriously, they make an interesting case for the "...24 million middle-class American households approaching retirement with lofty lifestyle aspirations, a thirst for new products and brands, and limited financial resources."

This article about U-Boomers in Forbes, makes the key point for marketers:

As the economic clout of the cash-constrained, highly discriminating u-boomers grows, companies will need to rethink how they deliver services while keeping prices down. Web-based tools that lower delivery costs while retaining a sense of personalization and high-end service are part of the solution. One of the fastest-growing usage segments for Skype's Internet videoconferencing is grandparents talking to their grandchildren. It's not a big leap to imagine financial services providers using this same technology to deliver personalized financial advice.
It's an interesting segmentation of the Boomer cohort, and one worth closer examination.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Of course in all fairness, some "U Boomers" THOUGHT they were prepared, but then through corporate fraud and/or mergers and acquisitions, their 401Ks, pensions and life savings disappeared; they were down-sized, right-sized, out-sourced, or became financially squeezed due to circumstances they failed to anticipate, often related to their "sandwich generation" duties.

But, as the article states, this cohort may be unprepared, but it is also undaunted; so I view "U Boomers" as a great business development opportunity in the making: U Boomers will be looking for viable ways to generate that missing income -- on their own terms of course!

Anne L. Holmes

Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.