boomer crossing

When the Eagles recorded the song, “Life in the Fast Lane,” back in 1976, boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) had lived through a lot.  They were witnesses to race riots, the Vietnam war protests, the man on the moon, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, and the civil rights movement.  In addition to all that, boomers benefitted as well to a period of great growth and prosperity.

Boomers could be said to have not been overly influenced by over-the-top commercials and gimmicks.

Many of the boomers have since retired and estimates predict 10,000 boomers a day will be retiring until 2030.  Forbes estimates are that their buying power will increase more than 20% in the next decade. The other thing most experts appear to agree on is boomer’s affinity for luxury, especially in general purchases and travel.

Good News For The Luxury Market

The luxury interests of boomers coupled with their kids, the millennials, have created a potentially huge market of sellers of luxury items.   Recent studies by Facebook IQ, Facebook’s insight team, indicate that not only will millennials occupy half of the luxury market within five years, but that they also could boost spending for luxury personal items by as much as 130%.  Having the right key to access that audience will be key to a luxury seller’s success.

The Key

Digital marketing is key to influencing both the boomers and millennials, especially when it comes to luxury items.  Consider the profiles of each generation.

Boomer Profile

Boomers alone number more than 80 million people in the U.S. and Daily Infographic, an industry publication, says better than 80% are on at least one social media site.  Because many are retired, they spend 10-15 hours a week online. Most importantly, as many as 50% make purchases with their smartphones.

Millennial Profile

In addition to the above information, millennials rely even more heavily on social media for vetting and purchasing luxury items than the boomers.  The same study reported that digital marketing via social media inspired 80% of millennial luxury sales.

In reaction to the changing demographics and markets, many luxury brands have also adopted changes of their own.  Where personal service and exclusivity used to be their primary focus, many have since moved to innovation, personalization and high-class experiences.

What Else Is New?

Similarly, luxury brands have paid attention to the environmental interests of millennials in areas like sustainability and low-impact manufacturing and changed their methods.  This goes hand-in-hand with their efforts to associate company values with those of their boomer and millennial customers.

Based on their experience and observation, savvy luxury brands know that digital marketing is not only here to stay, but that the wise application of it will only grow their market.  Recent research bolsters that aim in showing that after going online to look at a luxury item, 50% of customers make a purchase within an hour.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.