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Vendors who should target boomers and seniors - Part 1 in a series

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? Is it because in our youth-oriented product culture, they don't want to use the 'age' word?  Is it because the product execs are too youth-oriented themselves? Fearful of alienating some by being specific about others?

These vendors have something to offer boomers and seniors -- and in a slumping economy, now is as good a time as any to create messages (even a few photos for the website). To be included on the list, 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:

1) Adobe.  So in the land of the camera, picture editing and creating newsletters and picture albums really matters. Elements, Photoshop, PDF, it's all there. And outside of Adobe, computer schools and Nary a word on

2) Cisco. Linksys home router -- wireless access to music, WebEx family conference calling, and Scientific Atlanta set-top boxes. Digital music libraries -- families, kids, beautiful sound and even watch the movie. What's missing from this picture? Just grandma and me.

3) iRobot. So the vacuum cleaner is a winner in the 'confrontation with house pet' category. And there is even a pet series product line.  And the gutter-cleaning Looj will keep boomers and seniors off of ladders. All good. How about some scenarios, photographs, or clue that the boomer/senior market is a recognizable audience?

4) Sony.  Searching the website, there are movies (workouts, aging) with are aging, pre-2008 dates and rusty content. And there are products galore, including digital book reader, MP3 players, cameras, televisions, universal remote controls. It's a good life, even one that allows for roles -- digital photo frames for students and their parents, but not, alas, their grandparents.

The aging in place technology market is going to grow to more than $20 billion by 2020, driven by sheer demographic size and scale, not to mention a love of technology.  Just to keep things interesting, stay tuned for more of these entries.



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