Thursday, May 24, 2012

Generational Perspective

Marketing experts who purport to be generational experts ought to do their homework. Social scientists and demographers are the ones who get to name generations, and specify start and end dates, not marketing agencies.

Recently a company issued a press release claiming to name the next generation after Millennials. They came up with "Plurals" but without any convincing data, insight or even argument for it. Rather than tell you all the reasons we think this is bunk, let us point you to Neil Howe, a social scientist and demographer who has posted a compelling response to this "news."

We happen to be students of the work done by Neil Howe and the late William Strauss. If you want to understand generations, start with their 1991 book, Generations (with the provocative subtitle: The History of America's Future). If you want to understand what's happening today and what to expect in the next twenty years, buy The Fourth Turning.

Bottom Line for Marketers: If all you want to do is figure out what to call the next generation, then follow our lead: We call them "kids."

In time, a moniker will be developed that makes sense and sticks. We have time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rockin' in 2012, Again

Apparently this summer isn't the Summer of Love, but the Summer of Re-Love.

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton may be trying to tap into 1970's nostalgia with Dark Shadows, but the action isn't on the screen, it's in the music behind the movie.

Hearing all those 1970 hits again, and seeing that Alice Cooper is not only still alive, he's still rockin', was enough to get us to buy the soundtrack. Turns out we're not alone.

The music business realizes there is money in the pockets of millions over 50. Check out the bands on tour this summer: Van Halen, Kiss, Glenn Frey, The Beach Boys, KC & the Sunshine Band, Melissa Etheridge, REO Speedwagon, America and on and on we go back into 1970 all over again.

We noticed Boomers were driving the music tour business two years ago when we saw that Bruce Springsteen's tour, at age 60, earned more revenue than did the tours of Coldplay and the Jonas Brothers combined. Born to run, indeed.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Wake up and smell the Ben-Gay -- older consumers spend money, lots of money. Tap into them now and guarantee yourself a recession-proof summer. You'll love it.

Opening a Channel, Captain

Every day we see some Boomer-related news or information and feel compelled to tweet about it.

But recently we realized confining our comments to 144 characters is, well, limiting. So we're going to blog, again (we did this several years ago). Our plan is to post regularly, and to drive our current newsletter readers to subscribe so they can get our insights more routinely.

The other reason we want blog now is that we crave interaction, feedback and conversation. Blogs allow for that easier than do email newsletters. Let's have conversations.

Here we go.