Is your brand part of the family?
With an aging population, an increase in boomerang children and boomers right in the middle of it all, more consumers are living in multigenerational households—nearly twice as many today compared to 1980, according to Gartner. Hopefully, your brand is moving in, too.
What’s driving this multigenerational trend? Money. Challenges ranging from job losses to millennial underemployment and student debt to rising costs for healthcare and elder care have all required families to pool their resources.
Surprisingly, this growing segment is a mostly untapped opportunity for marketers. If you’d like to build consumer relationships, provide needed solutions and increase sales among multigenerational households, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Burnish your brand
We’ve seen six times the amount of growth in the number of consumer touchpoints since 2014, according to Mar Tech Today, and brands are making “every single touchpoint” more personalized.
Even so, it doesn’t take a lot of customer empathy—picture time-pressed family members trying to manage hectic schedules and competing priorities—to realize that consumer engagement is a little trickier in multigenerational households. A strong brand, a clearly articulated value proposition and a comprehensive multichannel marketing program are essential if you want to get and keep this segment’s attention. Ideally, you’ll connect with these consumers at a time and place where they are looking for information and solutions.
Offer services and solutions
Boomers are working longer and, as a result, are keeping up with tech trends to thrive and advance in the workplace. Plus, boomers living in multigenerational households are even more tech-savvy than their peers. That may seem counterintuitive at first, but it makes total sense. Between getting advice from their kids and helping (or sometimes getting advice from) their parents, boomers in multigenerational households are more likely to use a smartphone, streaming services and devices. They’re also more likely to participate in social media compared to the broader boomer population.
Best Buy is an excellent example of a marketer who has tapped into this need. Their Assured Living program applies technology solutions to promote home safety and security, prescription compliance and overall healthcare maintenance, independent living and ways to keep families connected across devices. Whether it’s technology or another category, if you combine a smart solution with a cross-platform sell and perhaps even a special offer, you’ll do very well with the multigenerational market.
Make it easy, and use humor when appropriate
Have you seen the spot from Tide (“The In-Laws”), with the couple whose parents and adult children have moved in with them? The couple is wryly making the best of doing “three generations of laundry” and the day-to-day, unintentionally funny challenges of sharing space. It’s a classic “sandwich generation” moment and a nod to the fact that boomers are the predominant population in multigenerational households (34 percent, says Gartner). It’s also shrewd marketing. Life at home can be stressful at times, even under the best of circumstances and particularly when resources are tight. A bit of good-natured humor can land you in the consumer’s good graces.
Along with humor, lightening the load also appeals to consumers in multigenerational households who place a premium on simplified customer experiences and speedy transactions that make their lives easier.
With the growth in multigenerational households expected to continue, marketers have an opportunity to build brands, strengthen relationships and drive sales across several segments of the market. The right strategy will not only help your brand find a home in multigenerational households, but more traditional ones as well.