Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where Will Boomers Turn Next?

Last week I turned off NBC Nightly News right in the middle of the newscast. I could not weather through another word presented as news.

Now I do hold a college degree in Journalism. In fact, even when I went through classes during the 1970s, the idea of unbiased news reporting was still something being stressed in the classroom.

I am the first one to tell you… that is not how journalism is presented in many classrooms today… certainly not in the classes taught by the Baby Boomer academics.

In the last 3-4 months, the Boomers have had a “come to Jesus”… although, the train did leave the station a while back.

Much of their retirement Nirvana faded as their retirement funds took a dive and their home values dwindled.

Any hope of being able to retire from their career job and open up that organic-based, solar-powered retail shop met the challenge of little-to-no business start-up loans available.

Already the Global Warming hype had to wear the new label of Climate Change.

And while the passage of Obamacare was a time to celebrate for many, others knew that the winds would not be blowing Blue in the soon-to-come election.

Just before Christmas, the snowstorms hit literally coast-to-coast and north-to-south.

Then even before the last of the College Bowl Games kicked-off, another round of record-breaking cold and snowfall literally paralyzed the last few whispers of Global Warming.

Shoot, even large groups of birds dropped dead from the sky with no coal-burning powerblast, traffic CO2 or nuke plant to blame.

In the midst of the snow storm this past week, I read an article in the Atlanta newspaper that in 2011, more than 10,000 Boomers will turn 65 every day.

That’s right. Right next to their “Make Love Not War” wallet card will be their AARP card in their wallets and purses. And right next to their Sierra Club Newsletter will be their Social Security check in the mailbox.

No question. The Boomers will find something to rally around next.

“Sustainable” is their buzz-word… actually, for many, sustainability translates to their own sense of immortality.

It might be a full abandonment of the political and social platforms, for a back to mother earth, communal existence.

Maybe the idea of a continual care retirement community where people still reside in their homes will take on a new role and be packaged slightly different.

They will have a communal place to eat locally grown foods, write letters for demanding global human rights and recycle paper and plastic found in their neighborhoods

Moving to Palm Springs, Ft. Meyers or Taos is probably out, since selling the home in Boston, Chicago, LA or Atlanta is probably out… at least for now.

Maybe they will rally around a more neutral cause like literacy since books have since shifted to electronic screens for many of their peers and YouTube, Facebook and Twitter for their grandkids.

Although something tells me that they will work to have libraries carry the same books in Spanish as they do in English.

Funny… many of librarians that I remember growing up had gray hair and more often wore utility shoes versus heels.

The problem is, Boomers are beginning to come to terms with the fact that they just now may be out-numbered.

2011 promises to be an interesting year leading into the presidential race of 2012.

There are smart marketers out there that already are taking their brands and repositioning and re-launching them to reach the generational change-wave of Millennials.

There are also some brand management teams that continue to perceive Baby Boomers fueling politics, media and the arts. There are also other brand management teams that believe that the Baby Boomers are now entering their “senior retirement” years.

If you are thinking about re-structuring what remains of your IRA, avoid companies headed by brand management teams like these.

If you are a marketing consulting firm, you might want to pick up the phone and rattle the corporate cages…and you might… just might…get a call to come back!