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10 Tips For Packaging That Sells Products To Boomers

Boomers are a prime and growing target audience. Does your product speak to them? Does your product's packaging compel them to buy it? If not, you are missing a very important market segment. According to Rick Adler, founder of The Senior Network: "Simply based on population growth trends, if a product is marketed to the 50-plus audience and maintains its market share, it should increase in sales by 35 to 50 percent in the next 20 years. Conversely, a brand targeted at the zero to 50 age groups will be flat in sales."


1. Don't associate boomers or over those older than 50 generation with being old.

Boomers view themselves as younger than they are (typically by 20 years). Whether you use the word, "boomer," "senior, "over 50," or "aging," this group doesn't want to be referred to as old. Avoid using the "over the hill" context. Use words that are not considered negative. Gone are the days of over 50 being considered close to the end of life. You're not old. You are in the prime of your life.

In surveying my audience I asked what name they preferred to be used as a reference. The 50+ age range prefers to be called:


2. Make it easy to use.

Emphasize convenience or ease-of-use. Boomers are busy people--making their lives easier or more simplified is important. They like to spend time on activities like cooking. They just don't want to spend a lot of time getting things together to do it.

3. Make it easy to read.

How important is the label's readability?

70% Very Important
8% Somewhat important
4% Not at all important

"We are not illiterates. Just make sure we can see what we are buying." They size of type and the readability of packaging was the #1 packaging problem issue cited by the over the 50 crowd. Even with glasses many times the product labels are difficult to read. Make no mistake; Boomers will be reading it to make an informed decision

4. Keep the product secure.

By product security I mean that there is no evidence of tampering or indication that the product has been opened in any way. This is going to be a huge issue in the future. With the advent, of 9/11 food security has become paramount.

How important is product security/integrity?

72% Very Important
18% Somewhat important
2% Not at all important

5. Create relevance.

Use role models or visuals that represent the audience. Having a 20 year old touting the latest benefits means nothing. Conversely, having a 50+ year old speaking to her daughter or granddaughter creates relevance.

6. Don't use celebrity endorsement.

Do celebrity endorsements influence your purchasing decision?
2% Yes 98% No
Wow. Think of all the wasted money.

Do endorsements from a senior organization such as AARP influence your purchasing decision?

14% No 86% Yes

So the bottom line is don't use celebrities. Think of all the money you will save. Do use AARP and similar organizations to tout the product.

7. Make it easy to open.

Does ease of opening influence your decision?
48% Yes
54% No

Ease of opening was considered a problem after they tried to open the package. Unfortunately, many of the reasons a package is difficult to open is because of external influences, tamper evident, theft, counterfeiting and product integrity.

8. Keep it simple.

The same features that make packages kid-friendly should make it easier for many adults to utilize. What they want you to know about the package: Make it easy to handle
Use color coding to differentiate products in a family
Need easy opening packages

9. Use language that connects

Use language that connects with boomers. In most cases, they are educated, literate and informed. Communicate with them as such. Hip hop and other "in "style messages create a negative image rather than a positive one.

10. Forget about age

Does age matter? How important is the designation that the product is for those older than 50?

14% Very Important
16% Somewhat important
60% Not at all important

So don't categorize the product is one created for those over 50.

However you reach out and connect with boomers through product packaging, it's important to visualize this market as vital, active people. Eliminate the old stereotypes that we grew up with of people over the age of 50. Create significance by using images of people who realize they have the best years of their lives ahead of them.

Got packaging problems? I can help. I teach people how to package products consumers will buy. I make it easy to answer your problems with email and voice consultation. Get advice from the top expert in consumer packaging. To order the full report Design Your Packaging For The Ultimate Target Audience - Boomers email the Packaging Diva @

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