Vendors never want to miss a market, inadvertantly bypassing an audience that may love to buy their products -- if they only knew more about them. So why don't vendors with great potential in boomer and senior audiences -- and even some loving customers -- try harder to make this match clearer? I am particularly baffled about the pervasive political correctness of corporate social responsibility among large vendors -- environmentalism, globalism and green --, but nary a word about the 13% of the population in the US that is 65+, and as for the population over age 50, no acknowledgement that they already represented more than 52% of consumer electronics purchasers at the end of 2007 (McKinsey).
So these vendors have something to offer that boomers and seniors want -- and in a slumping economy, now is as good a time as any to create messages and acknowledgements of these segments -- even a few photos for the website!
To be included on the list below, web surfers have to do backflips to find boomer/senior messaging or scenarios on their website -- or when you search for senior, it's a high school student or an exec VP:
1) AMD. AMD is deep into the gaming platform (AMD Game!), including simulation and popular war games, home PC (Acer, HP Touchsmart, Fujitsu), entertainment (AMD Live!) arenas, well-marketed and embedded in lots of products. I think boomers and seniors LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, all of that -- according to Forrester, 83% of older boomers play games on their PCs.
2) Apple. The MAC and iMac, the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone -- one company, Apple, has something for every boomer and senior under the sun, including Florida and Arizona snowbirds and retirees. So search Apple's website for baby boomer and you will get 1 iTune, 1 TV show and 2 podcasts. I guess it is a good 'i-start'.
3) Dell. Well you know they have all of the PC product line boomers and seniors could want for home and home office, and a 2005 press release related to veterans and visual impairment, a nice community environment for ideas and discussion, but nothing I could find that mentioned baby boomers or seniors outside of user-provided discussion.
Four cheers if any of these vendors take a strategic look at older adults and explicitly acknowledge them as a marketable segment.