Launching kids out of the house means that Boomer women will be launching themselves into new territory as well, which means new needs requiring new products and services. Here are a couple market opportunities and examples of marketing to Boomer women as they enter the Next Quest (as opposed to lamenting the Empty Nest).
Boomer Moms Want to Stay in Touch
Although Boomer women relish their new-found freedom, enjoying “my” time and missing their children are not mutually exclusive. These days, with the miracles of modern communication, the apron strings may stretch, but they never really snap. She’ll always be “the mom,” and just because she’s practicing her craft long-distance doesn’t mean she can’t reach out and touch someone. The best example of this is the Apple iPhone with the FaceTime feature. As described on the Apple website:
“FaceTime works right out of the box – no need to set up a special account or screen name. And using it is as easy as it gets. Let’s say you want to start a video call with your mom. Find her entry in your contacts and tap the FaceTime button. Or tell Siri, ‘FaceTime with Mom.’ Or maybe you’re already talking to her and you want to switch to video. Just tap the FaceTime button and get ready to smile.”
It’s so simple for Mom to just press a button and start video-chatting with her kids almost instantly. Because of this feature, a friend of mine told me recently, “Now that we’re having a grandchild, I think it’s time for me to get an iPhone.”
Boomer Women Want to Explore the World
This lifestage has particular implications for the travel industry. The Del Webb study reported that half of the Boomers reporting more disposable income intend to spend it on travel. The world has opened its doors, and the Boomer woman is barreling through.
In the past, she may have limited her travel to family vacations. Now, experts are noting that Boomer women are the drivers behind the fastest growing trend in the travel industry, “soft adventure” travel. Whether it’s climbing Mt. Hood or sea kayaking in the Mediterranean, it’s all about exciting activities, exploration and discovery-but without the broken bones, leeches and rustic latrines.
Take for example Viking River Cruises (sponsor of the oh-so-popular Downton Abbey). Their ad spot is full of adventurous imaginings, while showing assuring images of comfort:
“Sailing through the heart of historic cities and landscapes on a river, you see things differently. You get close to iconic landmarks, to local life, to cultural treasures. It’s a feeling that only a river can give you. These are journeys that change your perspective on the world-and perhaps even yourself.”
Don’t Go “Granny”
One word of advice. Don’t go thinking that you can start calling your products “Granny’s Digital Camera” or “Luggage for Grannies.” Just how women don’t want you to “Pink it and Shrink it,” Boomer women don’t want marketing campaigns telling them what lifestage they are in. There’s one big exception to this rule, which are products and services for women, from women. It’s one thing when the gesture says, “we women,” and quite another when it says “you women.” Only “grannies” can call themselves and their products “grannies.” You can call them “ma’am.”