Anyone who has spent time in a horse barn will tell you, there are plenty of men and women in the 50+ age group who are riding and caring for their horses. Some of them are just getting started on a childhood dream. Many of them are highly regarded instructors, coaches, and competitors, yet it is still uncommon to see this group directly marketed towards as a consumer group. Marketing to baby boomers is often overlooked. In this article, we look at why all types of businesses should really target baby boomers in their marketing strategy.
This phenomenon just isn’t apparent in the equine world, but across the US in all advertising for all types of products.
To top that, women of all age groups are hitting records for earning power, and make 70-80% of the purchasing decisions for their families, but still in many cases ARE not the target audience. This is even more prevalent with older women.
Companies that are not paying attention are missing out on sales.
“Today’s 50-plus females are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active and influential generation of women in history,” states Girlpower Marketing CEO, Linda Landers, in a recent AMA.org article. “Unlike the generation before them, they wield unprecedented buying power and influence. But with that buying power, they expect the same level of attention from advertisers and marketers that they grew accustomed to in their youth, but are no longer getting.”
“And that’s why 91% of women say they feel marketers don’t understand them.”
The AARP states that “consumers over 50 buy nearly five times as many new cars than does the prized 18-to-34 demographic.”
The myth of brand loyalty.
Boomers grew up in an era with only a few brands to select from in each case. Now that there are so many options in each product area, this is no longer valid.
Think of it this way. In 1970, there were five dog food brands when this age group was in their prime. Remember Alpo and Chuck Wagon? As of this article, there are 115. Brand loyalty with any age group now? I think not. People change depending on what they need that day, the sale, if their dog will eat that brand, if their dog needs a wheat-free option, if they get it delivered for free and so forth.
How do you capture this key market?
People identify with brands when they can see themselves in the advertising. Identify is the keyword here. If you can’t identify a brand as a reflection of your values and how you see yourself, you keep on surfing.
Carefully creating and using images that feature older riders in the saddle, wearing your clothing line, teaching a riding lesson, trail riding, showing, begins to tell that story. Using like-age models shows that there are others out there doing the same, fosters the idea of brand compatibility with your products and makes it much more likely that that viewer wants to visit your website to learn more about you.
Don’t forget about offering stellar customer service. Being easy to work with keeps people coming back because they know if there is an issue, it’s not an issue. Older folks have raised teenagers and they will know if the sales staff is not giving them the straight information.
Creating and offering lines of clothing products that accommodate a wider mid-section. Fit and function for equestrians go hand-in-hand. Riders are demanding the most outdoor-worthy functional wear with the highest style, current fashion colors, and materials (Think yellow patent leather spur straps to match your patent leather yellow belt). Not everybody looks great in a low-rise waist but every equestrian demands that their clothing should fit well.
The company that figures out how to approach and include the 50+ riders is going to be successful. I’ve given you the overview, so take that first step to include this important group in your branding and watch the magic unfold.