Baby boomers – the most influential generation due to its sheer size at more than 77 million – are rethinking their values that will likely have wide-ranging impact on a number of consumer categories, according to a new study.
Findings from the Boomer Values Realignment Study show the country’s state of affairs – down economy, slipping global disposition, bleak outlook and socio-economic imbalance – is pushing baby boomers to become more introspective. Marketers, brands, healthcare givers, corporate American in general and even politic leaders could be hard pressed to re-examine their propositions to baby boomers, according to the study’s authors: Civano Living, Ypartnership and American LIVES.
The authors also suggest implications to wide-ranging industries:
Consumer Goods and Services
- Attention shifting away from consumerism, materialism and conspicuous consumption and toward personal, more meaningful relationships
- Values driving purchase decisions on goods and services; therefore, boomers will gravitate toward companies that align with their values
- As boomers focus on relationship building they seek forums and platforms as catalysts for their self-directed efforts versus “how to” books and lectures
Travel, Tourism, Home, Builder and Real Estate
- Communities that foster social engagement and environmental consciousness have more appeal to boomers’ values
- Vacation experiences that deepen relationships with family, friends and offer cultural venues are more desirable than recreational activities
- 80% want to feel healthier and more balanced at the end of a vacation, while the trend of Americans taken fewer vacation days and shorter trips continues
Health and Wellness
- Interest in health and fitness programs continues to grow
- Retirement brings a new age of personal exploration and socialization as 71 percent see retirement as a time to explore other cultures and travel
- Boomers see a connection between individual well-being and planetary health as societal issues such as air and water quality, healthier foods, less toxic building materials, renewable energy and conservation, among others, expand beyond personal pursuits
- 86% believe obesity as a national problem
Politics and Current Affairs
- Pessimistic view of current state of affairs reveals 70 percent are concerned the U.S. is slipping in its global leadership position
- Majority of boomers are not confident in America’s future with 66 percent concerned about their children’s future
- Boomers believe it is in our self interest to be energy independent
- A majority of working and retired boomers agree there are too many “have-nots” in our society today
“It is clear boomers have shifted from consumerism as status to meaningful relationship as a measurement of a purposeful life,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO and founder of the Civano Development LLC and former president of Canyon Ranch, a destination resort spa focusing on health, wellness and holistic and integrative care.