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Speed Review: BOOM

Speed Review: BOOM

Speed Review: BOOM

Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer - The Baby Boomer Woman

by Mary Brown & Carol Orsborn

Boom explores the soon-to-explode demand for consumer goods and services by what may be one of the most affluent and influential target groups of all time: baby boomer women. This book presents a multidimensional profile of baby boomer women and looks at factors that determine their spending patterns. Throughout the book, readers will find numerous case studies of successful companies, including Ford, Citigroup, Appleseed Clothing, Walt Disney, AARP and the Red Hat Society.

Review

Baby Boom Women: A Trillion-Dollar Market

Boom explores the soon-to-explode demand for consumer goods and services by what may be one of the most affluent and influential target groups of all time: baby boomer women. Women born between 1946 and the early 1960s are the first female demographic to not only to have their own incomes, but to also control the family purse strings. The authors stress that there are more than 80 million baby boomer women, with the spending power of over a trillion dollars a year, who buy or influence up to 80 percent of all consumer purchases. Over the next decade, this group — traditionally ignored by marketers — will control more than two-thirds of consumer wealth.

The Imago Diagnostic: A Tool for a Diverse Demographic
This book presents a multidimensional profile of baby boomer women and looks at factors that determine their spending patterns. The authors are quick to point out that this target is not a single fixed demographic, but that race, economics and other variables determine what makes a baby boom woman tick … and buy. Since the demographic encompasses women born within a nearly 20-year span, one significant factor is a woman's position in the boomer continuum, whether she is a leading-edge boomer born soon after World War II or a trailing-edge boomer born nearly a decade later. Differences between male and female decision-making processes are examined, and most importantly, the book offers the Imago Diagnostic (ID) — a unique motivational assessment tool to help identify three archetypical boomer women consumers. The archetypes of the Imago Diagnostic are:

Conventional: The conventional baby boomer woman's motivational orientation is to maintain security, stability and predictability, even at the expense of her own sense of autonomy and self-expression. She has not been exposed to new information that challenges the status quo or she compliantly resists rocking the boat. She is the consummate caretaker and puts her family first. She needs to know how you can help her, and keep her and her family safe.

Transitional: The transitional baby boomer woman knows there is more to her than what others see. She is disillusioned yet optimistic, as she begins to assert her own individuality. She is in a stage of change and experimentation with new beliefs and new needs. She needs to know you believe in her.

Aspirational: Having integrated what she has learned in her transformation phase, the aspirational baby boomer woman is beyond passivity and rebellion.

She accepts her flaws and is an emotional pioneer, realizing that the emotional and attitudinal landmarks she expected at various ages did not materialize. With no role models for women 40, 50 and 60, she is forging her own way on her own terms. She needs you to embrace life with her.

The authors apply these archetypes, tempered by leading or trailing-edge characteristics, as well as race and other factors, to the five central aspects of baby boomer women's lives, which are:

  • Work/life orientation — the role career plays in her life.
  • Problem-solving outlook — her emotional viewpoint when faced with adversity.
  • Caretaker/relationship mode — her relationships and interactions with others.
  • Life stage impact — her views on aging and midlife issues.
  • Economic situation — her financial status and outlook.

Learn From Companies That ‘Get Her'
Throughout the book, readers will find numerous case studies of successful companies, including Ford, Citigroup, Appleseed Clothing, Walt Disney, AARP and the Red Hat Society. Boomalso looks at how the interactivity of the Internet and its wealth of pre-purchase information influences boomer women, who are online in greater numbers than any other demographic.

Finally, it provides a simplified list of the "Eight Things You May Not Know About Boomer Women — But Should."

Why We Like This Book
Boom is fast paced and offers practical advice and an applicable model to effectively understand the baby boom woman. Its emphasis on the multiplicity of baby boomer women proves why a one-size-fits-all approach, stirred with a bit of nostalgia, is a sure recipe for disaster. Most importantly, it looks at the phenomena of boomer women, not as a problem to be solved, but as a tremendous opportunity for companies to grow by learning how to meet the needs of this powerful group, one which is poised to create a seismic shift in consumer marketing.