Mature Market Experts Gem Of The Day: Boomers and the Wii Fit

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Boomers and the Wii Fit – My wife and I just got a “Nintendo Wii for the kids.” According to the Wii’s virtual fitness trainers on the Wii Fit game, the first time I stepped on the Wii pad, I was 15 years older than my actual age. Pretty disheartening for a guy who’s active and regularly runs marathons. I blame it on my poor balance which the game tends to penalize. Anyway, this morning I tried it again, and knocked it down to just 4 years over my actual age so I’m making progress.

No one should confuse the Wii Fit program for real science or a real cardiovascular workout but there is definitely something to be had with the concept. For example, for someone who has never had anything to do with Yoga or stretching, the Fit introduces some worthwhile drills. Most importantly, it introduces some areas to work on to improve key deficiencies (i.e. falls are the number one cause of hospitalizations among seniors, so balance is definitely worth working on). The Wii is not there yet, but it doesn’t take a genius to see where this technology is headed.

In the meantime, Nintendo … by incorporating the mature market … continues to trounce their competition.



As I’ve mentioned before, When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos centered around Wii bowling at their retirement communities. Definitely worth watching!

Note: The Washington Post did an excellent review on Wii Fit.


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Mature Market Reasons For Being Healthy

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Reasons For Being Healthy – “An annual research conducted by The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) among 1,500+ U.S. Boomers in early 2007 provides rich insight into the Boomer lifestyle and identifies many marketplace opportunities. Boomers expect to live to an average age of 81 years old, and half want to live to be 100. However, 26 percent feel they are less healthy than they expected to be at their current age, and half of Boomers feel their physical health is worse than just 10 years ago—perhaps not surprising since only 11 percent rate their health as excellent.

The number of health conditions Boomers are managing may be contributing to their overall less-than-healthy status. The top conditions they are currently managing are the need to lose weight (40 percent), high blood pressure (35 percent), joint pain (30 percent) and high cholesterol (29 percent). As high blood pressure and obesity are both serious risk factors for heart disease and stroke—the number one and number three causes of death in the United States, respectively—Boomers appear to be headed towards early “retirement”.

While Boomers’ futures may seem bleaker than anticipated regarding their health, they do make the connection between a healthy lifestyle and an extended lifespan, with over half (57 percent) connecting a healthy lifestyle to the desire to live longer (Figure 2).

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Interestingly, half of Boomers were driven to a healthier lifestyle to look better. Playing on this vanity issue may be one way to increase compliance to a healthier mindset, as evidenced by the significant growth of the cosmeceutical industry.

While their understanding is on target, Boomers may require increased assistance in making healthy living an actual lifestyle change. Half are thinking about a healthy lifestyle to lose weight, yet Boomers face many challenges regarding their weight and proper nutrition.

Weight a Minute…

Fewer than one out of five Boomers are very satisfied with their ability to maintain proper weight, and only 1 in 10 is very satisfied with being in shape. Even more concerning is the fact that less than 18 percent are very satisfied with their ability to eat a healthy and nutritious diet (Figure 1).

healthy-aging-drivers mature market experts

It’s no wonder their satisfaction is so low, with a third of Boomers confused about what to eat when it comes to eating healthy, and two-thirds feeling a healthy lifestyle is more difficult as they get older. Many industries— including the media—may unknowingly be at fault for this confusion. As the amount of information available regarding health, nutrition and well-being is being disseminated at such a high rate, it becomes difficult for anybody to assimilate it into their lifestyle. In addition to the sheer volume of content, many times the message is conflicting (e.g., vitamin E is either good or bad), creating further confusion and dissonance between behaviors and attitudes, which is especially true of the diet industry.”

Source: Natural Products Insider

Because of the overwhelming amount of information available, I believe boomers and the mature market will increasingly look for “health sherpas” to guide them down the path of good health. Fitness trainers and health care systems that recognize this opportunity will capitalize big time (ie. ICAA, The Cooper Institute , Mather Lifeways and Erickson).

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Baby Boomers Keep Fitness Industry Growing

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Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – With 77.5 million boomers focused on staying young, fitness industry focuses on them – ““Baby boomers are a booming population. Their numbers are expected to increase by about 25 percent in the next eight years,” said Kara Thompson, of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

Boomers span ages 43 to 61, approximately. With the U.S. Administration on Aging reporting that 77 percent of all financial assets in the United States are held by those 50 and older, it’s like the poet said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Thompson said an a survey by IHRSA, which promotes fitness through education and sports club membership, showed that gym membership among the 55+ group in the United States jumped from 1.5 million in 1987 to 9.9 million in 2007.

“It is estimated that in this year alone, Boomers will spend over $70 billion on ways to stave off the aging process,” she added.

As we age, tendons and muscles shorten, bones lose calcium and lungs lose elasticity, writes Dr. Vonda Wright, in her new book, “Fitness After 40.”

But that’s just the bad news.

“Only 30 percent of aging is genetic,” Wright, who specializes in sports medicine, explained. “That means that 70 percent of how we age is determined by the decisions we make.””

Source: MSNBC and Reuters

Note from Tom Mann: Remember, With the 77.5 million boomers expected to increase by 25% in the next 8 years, the fitness industry will continue to represent a growth opportunity even in a down economy. I recently spoke at the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and presented some ideas on how retirement communities and fitness centers could engage the mature market through relational marketing. Regardless of your product or service, many of the techniques I discuss in this PowerPoint are effective ways to cost-efficiently market while building strong, lasting relationships. To see the presentation, click here on: TR Mann Consulting – Relational Marketing.

Also, worth repeating, several years ago the AARP in conjunction with the ICAA did a study on terminology . . . the mature market reacted very negatively towards the term “exercise” while the term “active” tested very positively.


Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: An Innovative Fitness Program For The Mature Market – You Have To Watch This Video!

davidbw3Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Conductorcise – What does a well known conductor do for an encore? If you’re Maestro David Dworkin, you train health coordinators and fitness trainers in an extraordinary low impact exercise program for the mature market called Conductorcise. Watch this video segment The Today Show on NBC did on the Maestro, it’s guaranteed to delight. Mr. Dworkin’s unique exercise program is a symphony performance, a music lesson, and an aerobics workout all rolled into one!

The Maestro, who has led orchestras across America and abroad, and served as Conductor and Artistic Consultant of three PBS Television recalls, “About seven years ago, after a conducting engagement, I jumped off the podium (as I always do) sweating, excited, feeling so high. Amazingly, I am never tired after even the most strenuous program. I started to ponder why I was never exhausted. After all, I am a physical conductor, allowing the music to flow through my body like an electric current. So where did this exuberant source of energy come from? I found that conducting is a very physical experience just like any exercise program … This combined with the stimulus of the music allows your brain to function at maximum capacity, producing a joyful experience. So I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t everyone enjoy this natural high?’”maestro-david1

The Maestro continues, “I proceeded by asking to do the program in any venue I could find. Friends of mine set up performances . . . HUD housing in L.A, YMCA’s and JCC’s in New Orleans, and Tennessee . . . schools, senior centers, active 50+ retirement communities, continuing care retirement communities and libraries . . . anyplace I could find people to engage. I did the program for children, active adults, boomers and seniors. However, I also did the program for Alzheimer and stroke patients, challenged and dementia individuals and the chair bound. And guess what? It worked for all! Now we’re certifying fitness trainers at in schools and retirement communities around teh country and I’m having a blast!”

Fitness trainers love the program. How much? The International Conference on Active Aging has just chosen Dworkin’s fitness fusion concept, CONDUCTORCISE®, as one of North America’s six most innovative active aging programs.

Full Disclosure: Conductorcise is a client of TR Mann Consulting. That being said, I still think this is a really cool video that you have to see for yourself.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Human Growth Hormone Use


70-year old Dr. Jeffry Life is Chief Medical Officer at Cenegenics Medical Institute.
70-year old Dr. Jeffry Life is Chief Medical Officer at Cenegenics Medical Institute.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Human Growth Hormone UseThink the baby boomer / mature market is obsessed with staying young? According to a recent article by MSNBC, human growth hormone use grew almost 6 percent in 2007. Companies like Cenegenics Medical Institute are cashing in. Personally, I think this has less to do with the “quality of life” issue and more to do with vanity than the 6% might be willing to admit.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Video Games

CB041354 mature market video games

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Video Games –“Twenty-four percent of Americans over age 50 played video games in 2007, up from 9% in 1999, according to the Entertainment Software Association. People age 55 and older account for less than 10% of Nintendo hardware sales. That’s a slight increase from about four years ago, when the previous generation of game consoles peaked, Harrison says. Seniors have “opened up the aperture of people who previously would’ve not considered themselves to be gamers,” he says. Nintendo has been bolstering its senior-friendly image, partnering with retirement communities, including Erickson, which has received 15 free Wiis.”

Source: Aging In Place Technology Watch

Note: When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos that lead to the Nintendo/Erickson relationship.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Softball’s Rapid Rise In Popularity Among Boomers And Seniors

ph03476i mature market softball

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often: Softball’s Rapid Rise In Popularity Among Boomers And Seniors –It is estimated there are more than 1.3 million men and women over the age of 50 now playing softball, and the numbers continue to increase. Softball has always been the most popular amateur team sport in the United States, with more than 40 million participants nationwide.

Not surprisingly, senior softball players come from all walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, professionals, business owners, government workers, tradesmen, and retired civilian and military leaders all gravitate to senior softball. You are apt to see, at the local level, business and political leaders — a veritable community who’s who. As the upward trend continues, community park and recreation departments will likely face the challenge of accommodating this exploding demographic. Local park leagues are forming in all parts of the country and will continue to grow as baby boomers come of age. A small community, like Fountain Hills AZ, supports two leagues: a 50+ and 65+ leagues and holds two regional tournaments annually. In Clifton Park, NY there is a senior league that offers seniors a choice between slow-pitch and modified pitch softball. Called the the Capitol District Senior Softball League, players can log on to its website to find their team’s W-L standing, bylaws and rules. This particular league is very social, too, with picnics, a golf outing and, at season’s end, a banquet.”

Source: Baby Boomer Knowledge Center

Note from Tom Mann: Is your retirement community adjusting to today’s more active mature market? If you still have a shuffle board court you could be in trouble,  “image” alone could be killing your marketing efforts.