Baby Boomers may be more likely to switch brands across a wide variety of products and services, including apparel, cars, prepared foods, and airlines, but when it comes to service oriented categories such as banking and insurance companies, Boomers stay loyal, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by Focalyst, a market research and consulting firm focused exclusively on Baby Boomers and older consumers, surveyed more than 30,000 adults over the age of 42 in the continental U.S., who were born between 1946 and 1964. The study found that Baby Boomers frequently switched brands for categories such as televisions, computers, apparel, home appliances and prepared foods. But when it came to auto and home insurance, medical insurance, life insurance and banks, those same consumers remained loyal.
Lowest Boomer Brand Loyalty – Products
1. Televisions – 22%
2. Computers – 24%
3. Apparel – 27%
4. Home Appliances – 30%
5. Prepared Foods – 36%
Highest Boomer Brand Loyalty – Services
1. Auto Insurance – 72%
2. Home Insurance – 72%
3. Medical Insurance – 67%
4. Life Insurance – 65%
5. Banks – 63%
“Boomers are most loyal when companies give customized service, a natural reflection of Boomers’ desire for personalized attention and rewarding brand experiences,” said Heather Stern, director of marketing, Focalyst. “And they are willing to pay more for value if a product or service demonstrates the ability to help make their complicated and stressful lives easier.”
Although the generation preceding Boomers, the “Goldens,” is slightly more brand loyal than their Boomer counterparts, these Americans born before 1946 are often as fickle when it comes to making purchase decisions. In categories where high levels of consumer service are evident such as auto and home insurance, Goldens are significantly more loyal compared to low service level categories where they are just as likely to say that they “don’t stick to any particular brand.”
The implication for marketers is clear – older Americans need to be targeted with appropriate advertising messages offering real information about the benefits of their products in order to develop a position as a trusted source over the competition. Messages that are simple (not simplistic) and relevant to the life events that these adults are experiencing are key to connecting with this audience. With adults over the age of 42 accounting for $3 trillion dollars of annual consumer spending, or one of every two dollars, marketers can not afford to under value the contribution of Boomers and Goldens to brand success.
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