Baby Boomers are Booming
for Home-Based Businesses!
By Terri Stingley
So what’s booming with Baby Boomers now because of this demographic powerhouse?
If ever there is a group of people within our society who has always influenced the marketplace’s mindset and habits, it’s the Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers 78 million individuals have collectively steered the course of products and services for over six decades.
One only has to look at the Baby Boomer buying trends within certain industries over the years to know that we are certainly dealing with a superior demographic.
Take for instance the success of Gerber®, with their flagship product: baby food. The Gerber family first introduced their line of baby food in 1928, as an extension to their already-established canning company. By 1941, they were fulfilling one million cans of baby food orders per week; leading to the decision to focus on baby food only. As a result, they closed their adult food processing plant and opened a second baby food plant. Wise move since by 1948 – thanks to the post World War II boom in births – they were meeting a demand of two million cans of baby food per day!
Then consider Buster Brown®’s success in the 50’s. As these baby boomers began walking, Buster Brown® shoe sales began climbing. In 1954, this then-50-year-old shoe company enjoyed sales of $30 million, up from just $6 million nine years earlier. Their strategy? Watching that trend – or wave, if you will –and seizing the moment by moving their advertisements to a Saturday morning lineup of children’s programming.
Next in line for success was Radio Flyer® – the famous little red wagon, whose makers sport the same name. As boomers were turning thirteen, these wagons began appearing in strategic places, such as on The Mickey Mouse Club show and Davy Crockett movies, to send their sales through the roof.
Converse®, who designed the world’s first performance basketball shoes in 1917, jumped on the Baby Boomer wave in the mid 60’s. That is when they broke away from their traditional solid black shoe and added seven new colors. These shoes were worn with T-shirt and jeans on boys and skirts, sweaters and ankle socks on girls. It certainly didn’t hurt that actor, James Dean, and basketball great, Wilt Chamberlain, donned the shoes as well.
When the first Baby Boomers contributed to society as “real,” independent adults, they bought their own cars, homes and began their careers and families. Each time they crossed new thresholds, the evidence was there. By the mid 70’s, these twenty-something-year-olds were demanding that their cars be compact and energy efficient, so foreign car sales boomed. (This thought pattern proved quite different from that in 1964, when this group turned 18 and their parents presented them with the newly released Ford Mustang.) Soon after, the early 80’s ushered in millions of first-time homebuyers, causing the residential housing market to boom as well.
In more recent decades, technology and travel industries have benefited greatly, as these new middle aged Boomers used their plentiful discretionary funds for entertainment and leisure purposes. Everyone from home theater system retailers to time share resort managers profited from Baby Boomers buying power.
Today, with over three million of these Baby Boomer trendsetters heading towards retirement, we see that they are anything but finished making their mark on society. Regardless of whether they left their jobs on their own, or due to harsh economic times the jobs left them – these people are not about to plop down in a rocking chair anytime soon!
So what’s booming now because of this Boomer demographic powerhouse?
That’s right – network marketing, multi-level marketing, MLMs – call it what you want, this micro-franchising style of business is striking a wonderful chord for this exciting “second half” of these boomers’ lives. Because there are so many companies in this industry to choose from, research and due diligence are the order of the day.
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Regardless of which MLM Company a Baby Boomer selects, the overall decision to join any of them in this trillion dollar industry is based on five beneficial C’s – choice, control, challenge, clarity and community. Join me throughout a series of articles, where we follow Carolyn, a 67 year-old successful network marketer, who considered each of these benefits individually in her decision making process. See how she rose to success quickly in this industry and learned from her biggest mistake ever – one that she wishes no one else would make.
Terri Stingley is a freelance writer whose expertise lies in ghostwriting autobiographies for local celebrities. www.theliteraryfront.com
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