Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail Industries

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – A Snapshot of Mature Market Trends Shaping the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Retail Industries – I recently read an interesting report by IRI on Boomers and the CPG category that had some interesting stats, charts and findings. IRA segments the mature market in the following way:

iri-cohort-definitions mature market

In addition to the sheer size of this population segment, as you know, the mature market controls the bulk of the nation’s wealth (yes, it’s still true despite our sagging 401Ks). So, here’s what IRI says,

“CPG manufacturers and retailers that view this group as a monolith, do so at their own peril. Market leaders who want to most effectively meet the needs of Boomers, some of whom are in their 60s, others still in their 40s, must identify the distinct and ever-changing attitudes and behaviors of literally hundreds of micro-segments based on income, geography, shopping trip missions, health and wellness and many other factors.

Overlaid with these differences in attitudes and behaviors is the profound transformation the U.S. economy is experiencing at present. Each of these micro-segments is likely to react differently to the rising then falling price of energy, a severely strained financial market, increasing unemployment and decreasing consumer confidence.

There are some broad commonalities among Baby Boomers that are worth noting, however. Approximately two-thirds of Baby Boomers will continue to work after retirement, some out of financial necessity, others from an eagerness to keep active. Baby Boomers, like their Gen X, Gen Y and younger compatriots, use the Internet actively to get information, research products and make purchases online. And, like no generation before, Baby Boomers are relying heavily on CPG products, from food and beverages to vitamins and supplements, for health and vitality. For the packaged goods industry, the opportunity is immense.”

dollar-sales-growth mature market

channel-share mature market

The full report is definitely worth looking at, although I still believe the best marketers avoid the trapping of categorizing their customers even on a micro level. I think it’s far more effective to practice relational marketing. As I’ve blogged before, this incessant labeling overlooks one key fact . . . regardless of age, we are all individuals.

David Wolfe, one of my favorite bloggers and a true expert on aging states in his blog Ageless Marketing:

“Needs drive our behavior. Our need to be physically and mentally comfortable, whole, safe and secure does not change from one generation to the next. In Maslow’s hierarchy, that bundle of needs is the most basic of all needs. Then, our need for love and to be loved never changes from one generation to the next. The same holds true of our need for self-esteem and the esteem of others.
What does change from generation to generation are the ways in which we strive to meet our needs.”

At TR Mann Consulting, we believe we are entering a new age of relational marketing . . . which has less do with age, than it has to do with technology. As ever-improving technology and quality improvement measures level the playing field in most, if not all industries, we are moving to a marketplace where your relationship with your customers is your key competitive advantage (or weakness). Simply put, it’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it. A great brand is a friendship unfolding—with each new interaction marking a new stage in the courtship. Your customer’s behavior and what they tell you as the relationship unfolds are what should be defining what “category” your customer fits in.

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