Follow the Money: The Profit In Gray
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” -- W. Edwards Deming
The idea of “The New Normal” has been popping up in headlines across the country. As I look at the current economic landscape and the variety of challenges companies are facing, I see huge upside for businesses who are willing to not just accept “The New Normal” but embrace it and seize the opportunities for growth.
I am exploring these opportunities and outlining specific steps companies can take to transform their business for future success. This month, let’s focus on a major demographic shift that is going to have a massive impact on the economy over the next decade and will affect your business for better or worse. I’m talking about Baby Boomers and the aging of America.
If I don’t already have your attention, maybe these facts will help. There are over 100 million Baby Boomers in the US today and this group has $2.3 trillion in annual spending power. The bottom line? More than 30 percent of Americans are over 50, they control 50% of the discretionary income in the country and we are getting older every day.
That means that the people with all of the money in this country will be entering a new phase of life that will dramatically change their spending patterns.
If your business is already strategically targeting this group, has developed specific solutions to meet their needs, and is catering to their changing desires, congratulations! But chances are, you’re like most companies – selling your current products to these folks when they fall into your traditional marketing funnel, but doing nothing outside your normal business operations to attract, engage and sell to this influential group in transition.
A concept I love to talk about is Creative Destruction or the idea of developing economic innovation at the expense of established or existing businesses. This is a scary concept for most people.
You want me to risk a business model that has proven successful and move in an uncharted, new direction? Exactly.
The Baby Boomer market is a perfect example. They have money, they have specific needs, and they are likely people you have sold products to before. And this is a group of people who have dominated housing and purchasing trends at every stage of their lives. They fueled the suburban expansion as children and first time home buyers and then later demanded even newer and more advanced alternatives as they traded up to bigger and better homes.
Now this demographic is poised to make waves for housing related businesses once again. As they downsize, they will still desire the level of comfort, style and convenience they have become accustom to. They will want homes that are smaller, easier to maintain, smarter, and easier to control – a home that fits their active, on-the-move, “retirement” lifestyle.