June 4, 2009

Insecure, caring, confident and suspicious

Talk about a complicated bunch. Steve Howard, author of "Boomer Selling," details the following boomer consumer characteristics. Everything under the sun had been written about baby boomers as consumers, so it's nice to see something new. And we agree with most of them:

  • They are smart, insecure, caring, direct, confident and suspicious.
  • They've seen every sales trick in the book and hate most of them.
  • They are the vanguard of the consumer culture, so marketers have been trying to sell to them since they saw their first cereal commercial.
  • Sales tricks and pressure tactics do nothing but insult them.
  • They not only know the value of a dollar, but they also know the value of a penny. They'll buy a $1,000 suit at Nordstrom's, then stop at Wal-Mart for socks.
  • They sometimes don't make sense -- they'll remodel their kitchen with a giant six-burner stainless steel range, and then use it for heating water for tea.
  • They'll bargain and haggle at the drop of a hat, squeezing concessions from salespeople. Their favorite question is, "Is that the best you can do?"
  • They know they are special, and they believe they should be recognized for being unique.
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