From Boomers To Zoomers: How To Build Billion-Dollar Businesses For The Changing Face Of Aging

From Boomers To Zoomers: How To Build Billion-Dollar Businesses For The Changing Face Of Aging

Unique Expectations

The lifestyle and aging expectations of boomers are different than any previous generation. According to the American Medical Association, boomers prefer to age in place, maintain an active lifestyle, keep working in the careers they love and engage with younger generations. And since they still control 70% of disposable income in the United States alone, they can pay their way into new products and solutions.

Boomers desire homes and shopping centers that are designed for decreased mobility and aging bodies, but that still offer plenty of opportunities. They seek employment where they can use their skills and wisdom on a schedule that works for them. Many are doing what they can to avoid bogging their children down with the rituals of caregiving and death.

Require Unique Solutions

No other generation shares the expectations of the boomers. Herein lies the most important fact: Boomer expectations of aging will drive a transformation of the $7.6 trillion longevity market. This begs the question for any entrepreneur: What are the best opportunities to pursue?

One avenue to explore is the confluence of artificial intelligence and connected devices. While we’ve had wearable devices for years, clunky and unfriendly user experience has often stymied adoption. That’s finally changing. While tech companies can build tech solutions for caregiving, more ambitious entrepreneurs have other plans. From apps that help people monitor medical conditions and track their heart rate during sleep to new products that can help lessen the financial burden of major conditions, entrepreneurs are finding ways to redefine retirment, financial investment and insurance.

Strategies To Serve Boomers

Tapping into the boomer market is easier than many others because of one simple fact: despite losing ground to millenials, it’s still one of the largest demographic groups in the United States. The opportunities that exist today are more focused on user experience than novel technology — plus, boomers love taking part in testing and providing opinionated feedback.

Entrepreneurs can start by using existing technologies to enhance the user experience of products and services that boomers use right now but will struggle with as they age due to mobility and health issues.

For example, startups working on self-driving car technology could deliver friendlier automobile experiences that allow Boomers to remain in control of the wheel while lessening the burden on their bodies from driving.

Yet another example is the homes in Margaritaville development I saw with my boomer parents. With purpose-built countertops that pull back for easy wheelchair access and bathrooms that can accommodate caregivers, the homes are designed for aging in place but still feature furnishings and finishes no different than what you would find in a hotel room. Maintaining independence, freedom and control matter more than anything else to boomers.

Next, entrepreneurs should get their products tested as fast as possible by their target demographic. Many boomers enjoy trying new products and services, especially when products are marketed with a lifestyle message. Hold focus groups and recruit a small batch of users online. Then, request feedback early, before building the full scope of the product to ensure there’s an audience that wants it.

The strategy has worked for Voyage, a company that manufactures self-driving vehicles with a focus on people who are mobility impaired. Rather than release their product to a national market, they are now testing early iterations of their product at a lifestyle retirement community in Central Florida. Voyage is gaining valuable user feedback and input that will shape the product before an anticipated national launch.

Boomers Matter

Entrepreneurs can capitalize on boomers’ significant disposable income by providing them with lifestyle solutions that address their desire to age gracefully and with greater independence than previous generations. While not every entrepreneur will create the boomer juggernaut that is the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville empire, with targeted positioning and market focus, the transformation of boomers to “Zoomers” will enable most entrepreneurs to be successful.

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From Boomers to Zoomers: How to build a billion dollar business for the changing face of aging

Source: By Alex Gold