Stereotypes abound about the desperate, depressive life-stages that women must “get through” in midlife. The big three for Boomer women are the empty nest syndrome, caregiving and grand-parenting. Let’s say you were a Boomer woman and got to pick which stereotype you get labeled with. Which one would you pick?
Door #1: The Empty Nester
Abandoned mother, sneaking back into the rooms of her children who have left the nest and throwing herself on the bedcovers in a fit of tears and grief.
Door #2: Caregiver
Dutiful daughter crushed by the unending drudgery of caring for a parent who doesn’t even know who she is anymore.
Door #3: Grandparent
Plump, doddering old grandma making homemade streusel and wearing stockings rolled down to her knees.
You win! Because as a Boomer woman, you get stereotyped as all three! All someone has to do is mention “women over 50” in a marketing conference room or planning meeting, and the ghost of Whistler’s Mother rises in the room. Or maybe that farm woman with the pitchfork from American Gothic.
Here’s the truth…
- The “empty nest” actually turns into the “next quest” (as brilliantly portrayed in those fabulous Toyota Venza ads).
- Caregiving, not as prevalent or devastating as the press would make it, creates resources and resilience.
- Today’s grandmothers are engaged, empowered and energetic.
Marketing professionals need to embrace these aspects of Boomer women in their marketing—and then Boomer women will be more inclined to embrace their brands.