“You don’t want to market to someone as a baby boomer. They don’t want to be in that category,” comments Christine Carlton, co-founder of online retailer TheSeptember.com.

Quoted in a recent article in the Globe & Mail, Carlton neatly summed up the problem retailers are having marketing to boomers – who don’t want to be marketed to as boomers.

Suggests Steve Olenski in Forbes: “They don’t want to be reminded of their age, but of their accomplishments and of their future.”

There are 76.4 million boomers in the United States, and they have money. As a Neilsen report indicates, they account for 70% of Americans’ disposable income, and the younger boomers stand to inherit a combined $13 trillion in the next 20 years.

While many retailers are targeting special products, such as antiaging creams, at boomers, their marketing is subtle, with older but beautiful (and often airbrushed) models and celebrities as spokespeople.

Also targeted to the 50-to-70 age group are home-related products, including furniture and décor items and raw materials for boomer DIYers.

Why? Many are getting ready to sell or have sold their old homes and are beautifying their new nest. As Olenski notes in Forbes: “70% of baby boomers think their current house is not the best they can get. They want to be out on their own, in a more luxurious place.”

Finally, boomers are Internet and social-media savvy; as marketer John Manrique points out in the Forbes article: “They do their homework online. Baby Boomers know their stuff … so you’d better too.”

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