Are baby boomers into high tech products?

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In summary, the conversation discussed market research for a business selling and servicing high tech residential products. The group of people being targeted were baby boomers, who are generally receptive to new technology that serves a useful purpose. However, they also prefer simplicity and affordability. There was also discussion about the definition of baby boomers, with the general consensus being those born between 1946 and 1964.
  • #1
david90
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This question is for market research. I'm planning to go into retail/servicing/installing high tech residential products. I'm trying to determine which groups of people I should market my products and service to.
 
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  • #2
david90 said:
This question is for market research. I'm planning to go into retail/servicing/installing high tech residential products. I'm trying to determine which groups of people I should market my products and service to.

I'm kind of cynical, but, as the first generation to be raised on TV, I think a lot of baby boomers will buy anything that has a cool commercial. After all, a lot of baby boomers bought pet rocks!

As long as it's not too hard to make the device stop flashing "12:00", I think most baby boomers are very receptive to high tech devices. I know I'm very receptive to things that actually serve a useful purpose. I own a GPS receiver, cell phone (unfortunately), DVD player, a VHS player, a CD player, and even have a good calculator (only 1 vs. the more than 20 slide rules I own).
 
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  • #3
The baby boomers I know want something that is simple and works. If you can provide something they need, works with little or no instructions, and is affordable, you'll be set. If you're trying to sell something that is an "improvement" to what they already have, you're totally screwed.
 
  • #4
You need to research who is already doing this in the area you wish to do business in. Most of the stores that sell high tech gear also offer in home installation and repair now through companies like Geek Squad here in the US. More important than a desire for the services/products, what would compell someone to use you instead of someone more well known? That is a mistake many people make when they go into a new business.

(I love the Nerd Herd on the tv show Chuck)
 
  • #5
Ditto what Shawn and Evo said. The young and foolish will buy things because they're shiny and new, but the older, wiser generations will save their money to buy something they have been convinced is useful. High tech, low tech, doesn't matter, as long as they can understand the function, and that the function is better than the current stuff they own.
 
  • #6
BobG said:
I'm kind of cynical, but, as the first generation to be raised on TV, I think a lot of baby boomers will buy anything that has a cool commercial. After all, a lot of baby boomers bought pet rocks!
Commercials have an opposite effect on me. Commercial advertising turns me off, and that's one reason I don't watch commercials or commercial TV.

I prefer useful and inexpensive. I don't like flashy stuff.

As long as it's not too hard to make the device stop flashing "12:00", I think most baby boomers are very receptive to high tech devices. I know I'm very receptive to things that actually serve a useful purpose. I own a GPS receiver, cell phone (unfortunately), DVD player, a VHS player, a CD player, and even have a good calculator (only 1 vs. the more than 20 slide rules I own).
I have a cell phone (company provides otherwise I wouldn't bother), I have inexpensive DVD/VHS and CD players, and my HP-41CX still works after 25 years.

I don't have a GPS system, but I'm researching with the intent to buy one at some point. I learned to navigate by sun and stars along time ago, and I usually know where I'm going and how to get there. I use mapquest or google maps in advance.

I tend to be frugal - but I still look for quality.
 
  • #7
There might be a different definition of 'Baby Boomer' in the US than there is here. In Canada, I'm too young to be one. We take it to mean the spawn of soldiers returning from WWII. I was born in '56, so I don't qualify. Does that category in the US include those whose fathers returned from Korea or Viet Nam?
 
  • #8
Danger said:
There might be a different definition of 'Baby Boomer' in the US than there is here. In Canada, I'm too young to be one. We take it to mean the spawn of soldiers returning from WWII. I was born in '56, so I don't qualify. Does that category in the US include those whose fathers returned from Korea or Viet Nam?

Demographers define Baby Boomers as those born between the years 1946 and 1964. But Douglas Coupland, a Canadian novelist, wrote a book about people born between 1960and 1965 (I was born in 1963 so I'm in this group). His thesis was that people born in those years are culturally completely different from other Baby Boomers. We didn't experience the 1950s, didn't experience the counter-culture changes in the 1960s. The book was called Generation X.

The term Generation X came to mean those born in the 1970s.

But I digress.

I don't get any thrill from new, shiny electronic toys. My only gadget is my cell phone, which is 5 years old, doesn't take pictures or show movies. I'll use it until it rots, and I won't be happy about buying a new one -- I'll have to learn all the buttons for functions I'll likely never use. I hate shopping :grumpy: !
 
  • #9
Danger said:
There might be a different definition of 'Baby Boomer' in the US than there is here. In Canada, I'm too young to be one. We take it to mean the spawn of soldiers returning from WWII. I was born in '56, so I don't qualify. Does that category in the US include those whose fathers returned from Korea or Viet Nam?
Danger, you'd be considered a baby boomer according the US Census Bureau.

Babies born in the US during the period 1946-1964 are considered baby boomers, although we're probably considered late boomers.

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/006105.html
 
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  • #10
I was born in '69 and I'll buy anything. especially if its new and I'm the first to have it. If its a ridiculous waste of money even better.
 
  • #11
I'm Silent Generation and I buy some techie stuff.

Danger - the Silent Generation, Boomer, Gen X stuff is demographic lingo for what used to be known as defined cohorts and market segments. Those are groups that supposedly have common purchasing goals and so on. The idea is: if you're gen x, you'd buy a NIN dvd, but as a boomer you'd rather buy a Beatles CD.

To some extent I suppose it's useful, but mostly it seems to be used by the media, rather than the folks you would expect: marketeers. Marketeers have a much finer grain market scam, er, scheme than you would ever imagine. By their standards I am 'shotgun and pickup'.

I had a truck for years, sans shotgun, though.

The interesting thing is - my parents are also Silents as well, and they were older parents when I was born - due to the Depression - which depressed birth rates, too.
 
  • #12
I'm steering away from marketing to baby boomers and towards middle age people
 
  • #13
david90 said:
I'm steering away from marketing to baby boomers and towards middle age people

That's a low blow. :rofl:

But selling high tech wheelchairs might be a good market to be in. http://www.ibotnow.com/about-ibot.html

If I can drain a jump shot over my great-grandon's pathetically outstretched hand, then I'd be a pretty happy camper.
 
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  • #14
Astronuc said:
I don't have a GPS system, but I'm researching with the intent to buy one at some point. I learned to navigate by sun and stars along time ago, and I usually know where I'm going and how to get there. I use mapquest or google maps in advance.
GPS is great!

Except the first one I bought wasn't waterproof and didn't float. :frown:

My new one is waterproof and floats. It floats pretty fast, too, but I'm sure it's still working. :biggrin: Unless it hit a rock at the bottom the waterfall. :frown:

Yes, it's still good to carry a compass and a map (and you need the map, anyway). The GPS just makes storing key waypoints and routes to and from those locations so much easier. Plus you can mount it on your dashboard and tell when you're coming up on an intersection even on foggy days.
 
  • #15
Moonbear said:
Ditto what Shawn and Evo said. The young and foolish will buy things because they're shiny and new, but the older, wiser generations will save their money to buy something they have been convinced is useful. High tech, low tech, doesn't matter, as long as they can understand the function, and that the function is better than the current stuff they own.

What do the old and foolish buy?
 
  • #16
lisab said:
The term Generation X came to mean those born in the 1970s.

When did that happen? I was born in the (very early) 70s, and I never considered myself a Gen X-er. That's what we refer to "those kids" who were born in the 80s and early 90s. They're quite a distinctly different generation from us in terms of culture. Those of us born from the mid-60s through 70s are just the kids of the baby-boomers (I always think of it more the way Danger defines it...the kids of WWII, born in the 40s). Then again, it's a bit harder to be sure in my family, because we have 30-40 year generation gaps rather than the standard 20...we seem to take a long time to settle down and have kids.
 
  • #17
Waht do the old and foolish buy?
Answer:
Things to make them younger. Ever see what happens when you google a word like 'wrinkles' -

If people didn't buy stuff that doesn't really get rid of wrinkles there would be no market for the current barrage of wrinkle sort-of-remover unguents available. Even retinol and 'alpha-hydroxy' unguents.
 
  • #18
Plus you can mount it on your dashboard and tell when you're coming up on an intersection even on foggy days.

And still crash into pedstrains and vother vehicles because you're GPS-ing instead of driv-ing.
 
  • #19
jim mcnamara said:
And still crash into pedstrains and vother vehicles because you're GPS-ing instead of driv-ing.

:rofl: A friend of mine got a rental car with GPS. I had enough trouble operating the thing as a PASSENGER, that I can't imagine using it as a driver. Far too much time staring at the screen.

If you need GPS that badly, just get a spouse...they're just as good at holding a map and saying, "Turn here!...No, not HERE! THERE! Where you missed the turn." I think a marriage license is cheaper than a GPS unit too. :approve:
 
  • #20
Boomer acceptance of technology varies wildly. My older brother (born '46) is a leading edge boomer and is hapless with technology while myself, (born '50) love it and actually like playing with all sorts of new shiny toys. Our younger brother and sister, (born '61 and '57) are both tech savvy and like the shiny stuff.

There is a huge variation which is not strictly by age, I know other leading edge boomers who indulge themselves in the the shiny toys and some later ones who don't. It may well depend on how you weathered 1970. My older brother was drafted out of college in 1968, he returned to the same physical university in 1970 but culturally it was a different world. In those 2 years it went from short hair with suits and ties in class rooms to long hair and ragged jeans. And that was the instructors!
 
  • #21
Moonbear said:
:rofl: A friend of mine got a rental car with GPS. I had enough trouble operating the thing as a PASSENGER, that I can't imagine using it as a driver. Far too much time staring at the screen.

If you need GPS that badly, just get a spouse...they're just as good at holding a map and saying, "Turn here!...No, not HERE! THERE! Where you missed the turn." I think a marriage license is cheaper than a GPS unit too. :approve:

I managed to navigate all over Pa and NJ with a GPS in a rental car a few years back. Though I have to admit it helped a lot when my son was in the passenger seat operating it! It took me most of the trip to find my hotel, I finally hit the "where am I" button while sitting in the parking lot... who ever heard of Upper Macungie (sp) county any way?
 
  • #22
SticksandStones said:
What do the old and foolish buy?

Prayers from 100 Huntley Street.
 
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  • #23
Integral said:
myself, (born '50)

Ha! Proof at last! Now you have no defense against my 'old fart' comments. :tongue:

Seriously, though, I'm the baby of the family. My youngest brother, who died last year, was 69. That leaves me 2 brothers and a sister, the oldest of which is about 80. My mother is 95, and my father would be 106 if he hadn't had that little bout with cancer in '79. Moonbear and I share the multi-generational confusion.
 
  • #24
SticksandStones said:
What do the old and foolish buy?

Multi function cell phones with 120 page instruction manuals written by someone who's first language was definitely not English.:rolleyes:

Hey I just want to make and receive calls. I don't really need to send anyone a text message along with a picture of my dog.


My most recent purchase was a Sony DVD VHS recorder. I wanted to transfer all of my old home movies on VHS to DVD's. The set was advertised as having one touch dubbing.

On page 88 of the 153 page instruction manual it was explained that the one touch dubbing could only be done from a Sony digital camcorder.

I finally went to the Sony help website in order to see the damn manual in Larger print. The answers I needed were not in the manual, they were in a side bar of FAQ's

One Irony about the Sony DVD VHS recorder, the word record was not in the manual, it was only on the outside of the box.:grumpy:

But it truly is, as most of the online reviews on the machine had stated. It is easy once you catch on to it.:smile:
 
  • #25
What are some ways I can do market research to find out the demand for high tech products?
 
  • #26
david90 said:
What are some ways I can do market research to find out the demand for high tech products?
There are market research firms that sell those studies. Use google and search for articles and studies.
 
  • #27
have you ever been to Japan? These guys have everything and i really do mean EVERYTHING rolled into a phone! Heck, they even use their phone to buy from vending machines and to also enter the train station!
 
  • #28
Oerg said:
have you ever been to Japan? These guys have everything and i really do mean EVERYTHING rolled into a phone! Heck, they even use their phone to buy from vending machines and to also enter the train station!

They must be MUCH better about not misplacing stuff than we are in the US. I'd dread having everything rolled up into one gadget...drop it somewhere, or get pick-pocketed, or forget it in your desk at work, and suddenly you can't do anything or go anywhere (likely including getting back into the office building to retrieve it from your desk). I prefer to diversify my gadgets. :biggrin:
 
  • #29
I'm with you MB. My cell phone is for calls, and I use the camera, although it's not great because pressing the button to take a picture causes the phone to move, so everything seems fuzzy.

There is no way I would have my life tied to some gadget. I have a PDA that was given to me and I've never used it, it's too time consuming to use.
 

1. Are baby boomers less likely to be interested in high tech products?

Not necessarily. While it is commonly believed that baby boomers are less technologically savvy than younger generations, studies have shown that they make up a significant portion of the high tech market.

2. What types of high tech products are baby boomers most interested in?

Baby boomers are interested in a variety of high tech products, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart home devices. They also tend to value products that make their lives easier and more efficient, such as health and fitness trackers, home security systems, and smart home assistants.

3. Do baby boomers have a preference for certain brands of high tech products?

Yes, baby boomers tend to have brand loyalty and trust in established companies with a good reputation. They also value quality and reliability, so they are more likely to choose products from well-known and trusted brands.

4. How do baby boomers typically learn about new high tech products?

Word of mouth is a common way for baby boomers to learn about new high tech products. They also tend to rely on traditional sources of information, such as newspapers, magazines, and television ads. However, as technology becomes more integrated into their daily lives, they are also increasingly turning to online sources and social media for product information.

5. Are there any barriers that prevent baby boomers from using high tech products?

Yes, there are a few barriers that may prevent baby boomers from using high tech products. These include cost, difficulty in learning how to use the products, and concerns about privacy and security. However, as technology becomes more user-friendly and affordable, these barriers are becoming less significant.

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