As a demographic, boomers have an impossibly sunny outlook when it comes to aging. They don’t obsess about dying. Nor, by and large, do they compulsively dote on their skin or indulge in extravagant bodywork. Boomers simply want to live fully expanded lives unhindered by aging. Ultimately they don’t feel old; they feel ready to live life to the max. Here are the keystones of their philosophy–and what those keystones mean to you as a marketer:
- Enjoy—but make smarter choices.
Despite confronting health issues such as heart attacks and diabetes, boomers aren’t willing to give up all their pleasurable habits. Instead they seek more moderation in their lives. Rather than giving up a favorite food, they might switch to a low-fat version. Or if they love steak, they’ll settle for a smaller portion.
- Prioritize family ties.
Now that they have more time on their hands, boomers cherish simple pleasures such as playing with their grandchildren. As their views of life’s essentials evolve, they see time with loved ones as more precious than ever. And those loved ones include pets; boomers treat their pets like members of the family.
- Explore a holistic attitude toward health.
Boomers are willing to experiment with natural medicine; supplements and vitamins are popular remedies for the everyday aches and pains they are beginning to experience as well as for chronic conditions such as high cholesterol. Taking control over their health is a resounding theme. From choosing organic products to eating fresh foods, boomers like to do more than just see their doctor regularly.
- Carve out time for self-improvement.
While boomers may not obsess over their appearance, many make exercise a routine part of their lifestyle. From gardening to walking to chasing grandkids, boomers like to be active. They also love to experiment by trying a new hobby and going back to school.
- Give back to the community.
Now that they finally have some time to move through life at a more leisurely pace, boomers feel compelled to devote more energy to charities and to volunteer work rather than just writing checks. It feeds their desire for spiritual fulfillment and makes them feel even more connected to the community at large.
Although we live in a culture obsessed with youth, boomers see the process as a chance to live more fully than ever. Now’s the time for them to expand their interests, feed their passions, connect with others, and have fun. Even though they worry about their health, they don’t ruminate. On the contrary, they look ahead to a bright future. They never look back.
Cheryl Swanson is principal at New York-based brand strategy firm Toniq. Toniq creates “new product brand effervescence” and product positioning for marketers such as Pepsi and Gillette.