Building product marketers must look at products differently to target this growing audience
While multigenerational living has been a common occurrence in other countries for centuries, it is now becoming increasingly relevant in the US. In fact, since 1990 the number of multigenerational households has increased by 60%. It’s no secret that the economy has been hit hard and the housing crisis has had a dramatic impact on multigenerational living. This affects families in many different ways, including Baby Boomers and college students moving back in with family:
Baby Boomers moving in
- Due to the current economic state, Baby Boomers face many obstacles as they try to retire – from weakening pensions to a faulty Social Security system and ever-increasing healthcare costs. Many of these Baby Boomers are opting to move in with their adult children to save money.
College kids coming home
- The economy also makes it challenging to get on your feet after graduating college. Young adults must find a job and a place they can afford while also paying back looming student loans. Many of these young adults are opting to move back in with their parents for a few years until they get their feet on the ground and can be stable on there own.
Stuck in the middle
- For some adults, this means pressure from both sides of their lineage – from their parents needing support in retirement and their fresh-out-of-college children needing help getting started.
So what does this mean to building product marketers? While family units used to live independently from one another, now we need to look at Baby Boomers, recent college graduates and those stuck in the middle as unique and important customer segments. It means looking at your products in a different light and seeing them through the eyes of these new and emerging audiences.
As marketers we know that people seek out companies that share their beliefs and relate to them, so showcasing products that address these unique needs lets this growing segment know that your organization is familiar with them and creates the products they need. Consider featuring a separate living area in brochures, on your website and in other marketing material that appeal to these groups. Try showcasing a separate bedroom in the basement, a kitchenette with all the essentials, a secondary and more simple laundry room or a separate suite with its own entrance.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore this growing segment of Americans – chances are one of your competitors won’t make the same mistake and they’ll be the ones reaping the benefits.
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