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Five Quick Thoughts About Business, Baby Boomers & Market Innovation

Joe Coughlin on Businesses Banking on Boomers
(click here to view interview)

CBS Sunday Morning aired its annual ‘Money’ show today andincluded a segment on baby boomers – The New Target Demographic: Baby Boomers.I was fortunate to be interviewed (see CBS News Interview) for the piece to provide some context tobusiness, boomers and market strategy. Here are five quick thoughts that can begleamed from the interview:

  1. Baby boomers are no longer young, but they desire to remainyouthful – seeking products and services that support the needs of older age aswell as the wants that grow from the aspiration to live longer better for aslong as possible.
  2. Business will require new tools (e.g., MIT AgeLab’s AGNES) tounderstand the needs, expectations, values, and demands of the next generationolder consumer.
  3. Technology is not new to older boomers or any othergeneration to come. Creative integration of technology (from basic IT applications to robotics) in the improvement oflife from caregiving to car driving is an expectation, not a surprise.
  4. Meeting the needs of tomorrow’s older consumer will requiremore than new high-tech products and usable devices – entire environments mustbe reinvented, e.g., rethinking retail, redesigning transportationinfrastructure, retrofitting housing, reengineering the workplace, etc.
  5. Business is targeting the boomers but neither business – northe boomers themselves – want innovations designed for the old. The boomersjust want better at every life-stage. And that may be their lastingimpact on business innovation.

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