The Peak of the Baby Boom — turning 50

My generation is the most populous generation. My year in fact. 1957. 3 million people turning 50 this year. Check out the change in population table from (okay, so 1950 and 1961 were good years too.)

These numbers reflect net change in population (births minus deaths & maybe even immigration too?) So it’s not perfect, but without spending 2 hours digging, it’s the best I can do. (If someone finds the birth tables, please send me the link! I’ll revise this post!)

So what does this mean to business professionals in marketing and branding? Well, DUH! In the words of a wise person: a rising tide raises all boats. If someone is looking for a growth area, where is the peak, the largest population? And where are the dips, the smallest population?

Take a look at the folks who are turning 70 and older this year. Not that many folks in terms of shear numbers! Now take a look at the number of people turning 50 this year. A lot of us. Three times the number turning 50 compared to the number turning 70. Roughly speaking.

No wonder AARP is trying to get entry at age 50, not at 65 when the “traditional” retirement takes place.

They better take a look at staying current and rebranding.

Yes, they’ve got some newsletters. But the AARP Blog thinks commenting on their blog is writing on a message board. UPDATE: 8/30/10 As you can see by the revised link, AARP is getting with it. The SHAARP Session has room for comments, but few, if any comments.
Hey, if you want to gain any kind of membership with this “young” group of potential AARPer’s, you better get with the program and learn the difference between a website, a message board and a blog.

They need help with their branding too. AARP still means “american association of retired people” to me. Is anyone looking at rebranding their branding and marketing? And since I’m on a roll… did you really test the open rate of that b&w computer-generated direct mail piece you sent me? Yikes…

This whole thing seems odd to me. Is AARP about discounts on travel? I think the AAA has it all over them! About a lobbying group for social security? Maybe… Health care? Why would I want to become a card carrying member of AARP? Maybe I’ll have to open the envelope and find out.

A little insight into their own self-penned meta description for search engines: “Enhancing quality of life for all as we age. Leading positive social change and delivering value to people age 50 and over through information, advocacy and service. Visit AARP website for resources on aging and retirement; discounts on drugs, travel; insurance, financial services, and a wide range of unique benefits and products for members.”

Their keywords: “aarp, aging, senior citizen, old age, aarp health insurance, airline discount senior, elderly travel, over 50 women, American association for retired people, retirement, elderly person, aarp bulletin, aarp health care, aarp prescription drugs, education for seniors, grandparenting, senior living, aarp senior employment, long-term care”

Their key words make it look like they are targeting the trough of the folks over 70, not the peak of the folks at age 50. Hello!!! Anyone at AARP listening?? I think you’re living 20 years behind the time! Or maybe it will take me 20 years to wrap my mind around the idea of describing myself as an “elderly person”.

Meanwhile, it looks like there maybe room for a strong, vibrant association who can get their act together to capture the bulk of that bell curve from 1950 to 1960 and walk away with the market. Any takers?

4 thoughts on “The Peak of the Baby Boom — turning 50

  1. Beth:
    What a wonderful 50 tribute! I can’t get over how creative you and your friends are. It really is inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing your photo Remix. I love it!

  2. Your take on AARP is very sharp. I am not yet 50, having been born in 1958, but I read stuff about AARP because I blog about baby boomers. I think their magazine is looking good these days, but the rest of the org (including the name/acronym) could use a revision.

  3. Rhea:
    Next year is your year! I’ve heard many fabulous 50 stories since I’m turning 50 this year.

    My favorite: take a trip to Hawaii because it is your (drumroll) Hawaii-5-OH! Clever eh!

    I agree with you on the magazine. I picked up an issue I saw in a waiting room with Sally Field on the cover. Nice magazine. I’d love to see the rest of the association do a make over though!!

    Time for rebranding to really match the baby boomers!


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