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Brief Published: 20 Jul 2021

What Tech Brands Need to Know About the Boomer Consumer

Richard Burlton

The pandemic has forced many social and business interactions online. But how has this affected the boomer generation (born 1946-1964), which is often (and often unfairly) derided for a perceived lack of digital engagement? We highlight the top takeaways from UK consumer data platform Global Web Index’s recent survey, revealing new digital habits in the boomer generation.

  • Confidence Rising: In 2020, only 26% of boomers reported confidence with new digital experiences, rising to 36% this year. Brands should not shy away from marketing new devices to this cohort; remember, they have the most wealth to invest in tech purchases. 
  • Diversifying Digital Gadgets: Boomers are progressively investing in new smart-tech verticals. From Q1 2019-21, their smartphone ownership climbed 5%, while their uptake of smart TVs increased by 10%. This conservative expansion perhaps owes to pre-existing market penetration of these technologies.

    However, brands would be wise to advertise innovative home gadgets to this cohort, as the last two years have seen a 36% rise in ownership of smart home products among boomers – in part driven by Covid stay-at-home orders. Unsurprisingly, wearables saw the greatest upsurge, as wristbands (+57%) and smartwatches (+64%) appealed to health-conscious boomers during the pandemic.
  • Data Security Demands: Like many consumers, boomers are concerned about their data sovereignty, with 41% of them worrying about how companies use their information. To understand how to strike an attractive data-for-performance balance, see our Tech + Privacy report. 
  • Productive Brand Personas: To win boomer spend, tech companies need to learn what business attributes appeal to this cohort. Some 46% of this generation want brands to be socially responsible, while 39% demand data transparency. Tech brands should look past the appeal of heritage; only 25% of boomers want brands to be traditional, compared to 54% who require authenticity, and 74% looking for reliability. 

For more on this generation, see The New Boomer, Midlife Renewal and Retirement Rewired.