I recently interviewed with NeuroFocus. As a student of consumer insights, I am fascinated with the findings of NeuroFocus in “The Buying Brain” by Dr. A.K. Pradeep. I will be sharing those key findings in this and upcoming posts.
From your early 20’s until about 60, your brain continues to change. Slowly at first and more quickly later on. Your brain is very different at different times in your life. Who you are and where you are in life makes a huge difference with regard to the messages to which you will grant your attention.
This is an important consideration for marketers. Currently 44 million baby boomers are evaluating your brand, product, package, message and environment with mature brains significantly different from when they were 20 years old. Baby boomers control 77% of all financial assets in the U.S.
Our memory is influenced by our ability to suppress distractions. This ability declines with age. As such, eliminating distractions is important when communicating with older consumers.
Equally important, older brains rely on a more complex and nuanced emotional thermostat that allows them to bounce back quickly from adverse events. Older adults strive for emotional balance which affects how their brains process information. This may be a function of having a greater motivation to derive meaning from life. As such, when marketing to baby boomers it is both appropriate and effective to accentuate the positive. Older people have learned to overlook the negative when it does not impact them directly.
In addition to presenting a positive message to older adults, ensure messages clearly relate back to them since they want to feel good about who they are and how far they’ve come. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is a relevant underpinning of all your messages to older adults.
Another differentiation of the baby boomer brain is the concept of “wisdom.” Older adults get more context out of their interactions and then combine that context with their more extensive personal experience to increase their ability to assess the situation and determine its relevance to them.
Older consumers differ from younger consumers in that they want to know the whole story. They want to read the body copy, not just the headline. They will recall the information and put into context that which is relevant to them.
Older consumers also tend to consider familiar information as true information. Repetition reinforces belief. As such, if you’re targeting an older consumer, frequency is a good thing. Especially if it helps older consumers feel good about themselves, is positive and aligns the older brain with your brand.
If you are targeting baby boomers, do these findings resonate with you?