Baby boomers mean big business for El Paso County

Filed under: Daily News,economy | Tags:, ,

Brent Green, an expert in generational marketing, discussed "Marketing to Baby Boomers" this week in Colorado Springs.

El Paso County baby boomers could mean big business for those who figure out how to market and create new products and services for the generation with spending power.

“There has been abuzz over the last few years about business and boomers,” said Brent Green, CEO of Brent Green & Associates and an expert in generational marketing.

Baby boomers are where the wealth and income are –they spend about $2.3 trillion a year and own about $28 trillion in assets.

Colorado Springs had better think about how it will develop around this generation with deep pockets, Green said.

After all, the boomer population in El Paso County increased nearly 40 percent from 2000 to 2010. That’s double the increase of the total population, according to a report from Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Tucker Hart Adams, from Summit Economics.

“The new demographics described in this report outline both promising opportunities and an enormous need to respond in new and better ways,” the report said.

The 77.3 million baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 — have influenced culture, music and fashion, among other things, at every key moment in their lives. Gerber baby food was born when there were four-children per mom. Fast food took off when boomers were teenagers; Toyota became a must-have economy car when the boomers were student-activists. Nike became the shoe to have when they were yuppies. At middle-age, boomers became coffee snobs and helped propel Starbucks.

“Now that they are aging adults, what is next?” Green said.

Green was among a group of marketing and economic experts who spoke Friday at the Business of Aging Summit, sponsored by the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corps.

Colorado Springs has the assets to become an international test market and incubator for the “longevity revolution, a global business opportunity,” Green said. Boomers will be in search of lifestyle pursuits, adventure vacations and natural and energy efficient products.

Anyone marketing their business to boomers ought to consider that 60 percent of boomers say advertising that captures a sense of their generation goes over big. And, boomers scoff at the notion that anyone over 50 hates technology. The fastest growing segment of users on Facebook in the past two years has been female boomers, Green said.

Boomers will go back to college in droves to study those things that interest them, like music, art or movie-making. They’ll want to have the inside track on retirement and financial planning and they will be looking to nonprofits for their “third career.” They’ll want fitness training suited to their age group – 96 percent of boomers said they want to keep active.

And, 26 million of the boomers will relocate. That’s big news for the housing market. They will forgo communal living or assisted housing and demand to live on their own.

“Billions will be made in helping boomers live on their own,” Green said.

The business opportunities are endless, Green said. Sixty-seven percent of boomers believe the best years are still ahead of them.

“Those who warn of economic catastrophes due to population aging too often peer into the future through a rear view mirror,” Green said. “I propose that the boomer future is robust with transformative business opportunities.”