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Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Andrew S - 19 th June 2014

One of my colleagues recently went to a meeting where the topic of discussion was Baby Boomers positioning and being one himself, at the ripe old age of 58, you can imagine his surprise when the young creative team working with the client produced an icon to represent us (I am 56!) with a silhouette of a person bent over using a walking stick!

Why it is that Agency creative Milenials still don’t totally get this highly valuable market and still seem bent on patronising this segment of the audience.

This weekend I had a very clear view about the attitudes and behaviours of what a collective of Baby Boomers looks like and behaves like. I went to see those aging rockers Status Quo deep in the Cheshire countryside, what a great night.

I joined a few thousand of my fellow Boomers to bop the night away in a spirit that took us all back to our younger days. It was a community of SYLOs or what I like to call the Immature Matures, out to do what they do best, have fun with a few drinks whilst communing with our fellow Boomers with no hassle. This was a moment in time, an event that not only reminded us of our youth but also the context in which we grew up. The young creative and their silhouette would do well to remember that we grew up with, amongst other things, the punk rock movement and the social change that represented – a far more rebellious mind set against authority than the youth of today will ever be.

And that is the point – our attitudes and behaviours are not moulded only by the now but our experiences of the pasts. Whilst we might not be social media addicted we use it as another channel for communication not the be all and end all of our social lives.

Brands that are managed by people who only see the now of consumer behaviour and don’t seek to contextualise it in the historical environments that have moulded and influenced all consumers’ attitudes and behaviours will find it difficult to really net the returns for this consumer base. Worse than that they will end up playing lip service to a long term brand critical audience who have money and time whilst patronising us with concepts of age that bear no relation to what is going on inside our heads.

I work with a team of Baby Boomers who are into The Doors, The Stones, The Clash, The Pistols, Patti Smith, Bob Marley and The Grateful Dead and there is not a walking stick amongst us!

So brands that will be successful targeting multiple audiences that include Baby Boomers will need to be intelligent and take a bigger view of historical and behavioural context.

After all, many of us are growing old disgracefully -  just ask our children..........they understand exactly what I am saying!

Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
Find out more about Andrew S