We Boomers love customized service and will reward companies that provide it by being loyal to them. Forget loyalty to a brand - we're all about "give it to me the way I want it when I want it."
That's the results, in a nutshell, of a new study by Focalyst, a joint venture between AARP and the Kantar Group. The study was based on the preferences of about 35,000 consumers over the age of 42... often referred to as the "Me Generation." Turns out that Boomers have a relatively high degree of loyalty for service brands and considerably less loyalty for product-oriented brands.
In other words, we want to interact with brands that provide personalized service and seem to care about us and we'll pay more to do it. Meanwhile, we don't care as much about the brand of most commoditized products. We're loyal to certain product brands for specific items, but for the most part, we're more willing to try new brands than consumers in other age categories.
Here's what the data revealed about Boomers' loyalty to service brands:
> 72% of Boomers remain loyal to their home or auto insurance company;
> 67% stick with their medical insurance;
> 63% won't switch life insurance companies
> 63% stay with their bank
Compare that to our habits when it comes to specific products:
> 78% switch TV brands regularly;
> 76% are willing to switch computer brands;
> 73% of of the time, we switch among brands when buying clothes;
> 70% of the time Boomers switch brands when buying home appliances.
What does this mean to your company? First, it's no longer safe to assume that a consumer who started using your product early in their lives (18-34) will stay with it; and second, if you want to market specifically to Boomers, find a way to personalize the product or provide some added value.
The good news: it's never to late to create a bond with Boomers. Remember, we're willing to give new/revitalized brands a chance if we believe they connect with us.