Much has been written about the migration of the single largest generation—Baby Boomers—out of the workforce and into retirement. However, we are now just realizing how this generation is choosing to spend their golden years being more active, more social, and more involved. The evolution of the health & wellness industry can largely be attributed to Baby Boomers who popularized marathon-running, health clubs, and group fitness classes in the1980’s1. Yet many brands have failed to recognize this group’s contribution and continued interest in health & wellness, nor are they prepared to meet the changing demands of these consumers.
The following is a short list of things your brand can do to better serve this segment’s health and wellness needs and build a strong and loyal following:
- Take advantage of the time you/they have.
Baby Boomers don’t see retirement as a time to slow down. They’re hungry to learn and try new things—and their newfound free time means you can be offering classes, programs and activities during off-peak hours; that window of time between 1pm and 4pm when your club, studio or classroom is usually empty.
- Avoid telling them they’re “old”!
Unlike past generations, Baby Boomers entering into retirement don’t see themselves as old. Unfortunately many of the programs that are designed to target this segment of the population are dead-set on telling them the opposite. Instead of designing and naming programs that classify them by their age (e.g., “Silver Sneakers” or “Active Older Adults”), focus on developing programs that are descriptive of the experience and its benefits. Let your audience define themselves based on their personal interests and activity level.
- Don’t treat them like the "Seniors" of the past.
Most health & wellness brands have ignored or underserved Baby Boomers, offering programs that present little to no challenge or that could be perceived as insulting. Instead of offering “Cardio-from-a-chair”, focus on creating offerings that are engaging and challenging—yet approachable—that leave your audience feeling rejuvenated and vibrant.
- Create programs that allow them to be social and active.
Whether this means developing training formats that encourage participant interaction or encouraging them to participate as a group in a walk or run event, the goal is to help them connect their health & wellness goals with their social circle. This creates an inclusive culture that they want to be a part of.
- Offer them an adventure.
Get outside of your walls and create activities that explore the outdoors, apply fitness in new ways, or redefine what “wellness” means. Take a group grocery store tour to help them make better more informed food choices or go on a group hike that features a scavenger hunt that challenges their bodies and their minds.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be confined to sets and reps or classes and programs. The more they see this as a part of their new lifestyle, the longer they’ll remain loyal to you and your brand and become a brand evangelists for it.