Businesses, Community Colleges, and Wineries: Set Out the Welcome Mat

Overall, thirty-five percent of the U.S. population is at least 50 years old. That same demographic group controls  70% of all disposable income. In other words, older adults are a very important demographic for a wide range of industries and services. Businesses and educational institutions need to set out the welcome mat by including images of older adults on their websites. Some industries appear to have made deliberate efforts to not only tell older adults they are valued but to show them they are valued through visual reinforcement. Though my approach was relatively informal, I looked at over 75 websites…

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Customer Service and Older Consumers: Keeping Perspectives Balanced

When trying to resolve customer service problems, it is important to keep our perspectives balanced. Service representatives and customers need to find ways to solve problems together. This can be especially true when working with older adults. A lifetime ago when I was very young, I worked as a customer service representative. It can be challenging work with a lot of stress and high turn-over. Often, the service representative is the one who has to deal with unhappy customers. One time an older customer told me that I was probably going to Hell because I didn't solve her problem exactly…

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Marketing to Boomers: Forget Stereotypes, Ask Questions, and Engage Us

My husband rarely touched a computer until he reached his late sixties; at the time, he didn’t believe that learning new technology was necessarily worth the effort. Then one day his son-in-law sat down next to him and demonstrated many of the things an iPad could do. A couple of months later, my husband owned an iPad. Within the next couple of years, he had an iPhone and an Apple 2 watch. To assume that baby boomers are uninterested in technology or some of the same products or causes that younger generations value is a mistake. At present, baby boomers…

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Boomers as Consumers

Yesterday we invited a heating and cooling sales person into our home. As he was rattling off some product features, he said, “You could even use your phone to control the temperature in here– but you wouldn’t be interested in that.”  Really?  We wouldn’t be interested in added convenience? Why? Because we’re older? This salesperson clearly didn’t know about the three deadly sins when doing business with baby boomers. Let me explain: Deadly Sin #1: Assuming business representatives know what baby boomers really want.  Sadly, when marketing is targeted to older adults, it’s often based on stereotypical assumptions. I’m not alone when I say I’m tired of getting…

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