Aggregate of diverse micro-markets
- Baby Boomers and senior market are not mass markets

Big difference in “nature of the market" between in the high-growth period and in modern days

The term of “Dankai Generation (Baby Boomers)” has been frequently used since Taichi Sakaiya named it and his book became a best-seller in 1976. This generation has been seen as a big mass market because the size of the population is much greater than that of any other age group. However, Baby Boomers will not be a mass market in today's matured economy. The reason is there is big difference in “nature of the market" between in the high-growth period and today.

As noted above, consumer behavior of individuals is very diverse in the Baby Boomer generation. Thus the Baby Boomers market, formed by people with a diversity of values, is best described as an “aggregate of diverse micro-markets”. This is the big difference in the nature of the Boomer market between in the past high-growth period and nowadays.

In the high growth period with few goods after WWII, the life style of many people was very similar: similar income levels, living in similar housing, riding in a similar compact car, going on a vacation to “company-owned” resort which was affordable choice for ordinary salaried workers. Therefore, the boomer market seemed to be "a homogenous mass market". The naming of “Dankai Generation (Dankai means iceberg)” was appropriate in such period as a symbol of that era.

The term of “Dankai Generation is no longer appropriate since it does not reflect the reality nowadays

This term is no longer appropriate since it does not reflect the reality nowadays. Of course, the generation born from 1947 to 1949 is still the largest of any age group. However, although there are many people compared to other generations, but their consumer behavior may not be similar. Do not confuse this point.

The habit of lumping customers together into a “mass" is the product of the high growth period. Many managers still cannot escape from this old view because of their past successful experience in the higher growth period. However, this view does not fit the nature of the highly diverse Boomers and senior market today.

You should know what "values" that modern consumers seek to have by the changes around them

Focus on the changes of target consumers in order to build a successful business in a diverse Boomers and seniors market. Think deeply about what are feeling and about what they need. Don’t stick to the traditional market segmentation categories such as the "age", "sex", "occupation”, "financial assets", etc. Rather than those, it is important to reinvent marketing segments based on the "new values" which consumers are seeking.