Moving From Me To We BlogMoving From Me To We Blog

Why Are Companies Ignoring Me – and Many People Like Me?

Does most advertising irritate you? Do you sometimes find that companies aren’t creating products for people like you? David Wolf thinks he knows why. For most of us, many (but not all) companies are out of sync with our worldview and self-image. At least for the majority of Americans, those who are 40 or older.

Wolf’s insights may interest you as the gap between older and younger people is widening.

• “Following childhood in the first half of life, we devote considerable attention to conforming our (“persona”, public) mask to what we believe will gain us the most fortuitous outcomes in our relations with our peers and others.”

• “Marketing has dominated by an ethos steeped in the narcissistic, materialistic values of the youthful self. Sex has been the armature around which the threads of most

 marketing messages have been wound.”

• As we enter midlife, we become “more introspective, individuated, automomous.”

• Despite what some say, “People begin examining their lives less in terms of ‘Me’ and more in terms of ‘We.’” What gives my life meaning and what do i really want to do and be now?

• “Men tend to peel back layers of the persona to get more in touch with the feminine aspects of their personality. Women do the same thing, revealing the inner masculine of their real personality.”

• Yet most marketing remains “saturated with narcissistic and materialistic values” in part because people in advertising tend to be younger.

Useable Insight: To attract customers in the fastest growing market, appeal to their quest for meaning, service and/or authentic connection with others.

Some ways to start are to attend Mary Furlong’s Boomer Venture Summit, read David Cravit’s The New Old: How the Boomers Are Changing Everything . . . Again and Chuck Nyren’s Advertising to Baby Boomers and David Weigelt’Dot Boom – and visit Civic VenturesRetirement RevisedPreRetirement Life and International Mature Marketing Network.

As Carl Bard noted,  “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” 


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  1. Brent Wood
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    As a baby boomer I thought your article was right on the mark. Advertisers have a vested interest in selling and the quality of the items is of little value in relation to the bigger picture of profits. The mid-years of our lives, which continue to expand as we push “old age” further on the age continum, gives us time to search for a greater meaning than just being the owner of a bunch of things. One could argue that these years gives us a greater sense of freedom for we are more comfortable being who we are without all the pretense of having things own us. What is needed is not just advertisers but employers and others vested in our society to understand the force and power of “my generation.” We still have a lot to contribute and probably will as long as there are still are boomers.

  2. Posted November 18, 2009 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Your recommendations are spot on, Kare. Chuck’s book is an insightful read. He’s a very smart and savvy guy.

    Just two days ago, I completed a comprehensive review of David’s book “Dot Boom.” Within the next ten days, the review will by published on Baby Boomer [Knowledge Center] and Boomer Authority.

    Mary Furlong’s conference, I am told, is the best one among the many that are out there. I’m planning to attend the next one in March ’10.

    Thanks for the clear and concise perspective.


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