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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.