New Computer For Seniors – GO Computer

firstSTREET, a national catalog, magazine, and online marketing company specializing in products for “Baby Boomers and Beyond,” will introduce its designed for Seniors GO Computer™ at this summer’s Boomer Venture Summit June 16-17 in Santa Clara, CA. The Summit is an annual crossroads of market opportunity for companies, entrepreneurs and products that focus on the needs, interests and power of the baby boomer-and-older generations.

According to firstSTREET CEO Mark Gordon, the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ is to be marketed to “that older, often-more skeptical age group that hasn’t quite trusted computers and consequently has missed out on the whole wonderful cyberspace world of information, entertainment, communication and connection.”

Gordon considers the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ to be “the most distinctive and significant product firstSTREET has ever introduced.” He points out that while the younger demographic as a group accepts computer technology more quickly and enthusiastically, “sometimes seniors are reluctant, doubting, confused and even fearful” when faced with the prospect of computer ownership and operation.
       
“A life-changing product”

“That’s why the designed for Seniors GO Computer™ is truly a life-changing product,” says Gordon. “It’s perfectly logical and simple to use–so much so that the older generations can master it easily. It’s an out-of-the-box operation. It takes about five minutes to set up, and no tools or special skills are required. Plus, it is so easy to understand, no computer classes or DVDs are necessary.”

“As a company that has for some time focused on finding and marketing products to enrich the lives of boomers and seniors, firstSTREET had long searched for an easy-to-use, non-intimidating, basically crash-proof computer,” says Myers. “When we couldn’t find exactly the right product, we went to the experts and had them create one, with our input, and we are totally pleased with the results.”

“This computer is both the cat’s pajamas and da bomb!”

In addition to some obvious but essential physical adjustments to better accommodate an older user, like a large-letter keyboard, an easy-rolling trackball mouse and a zoom feature that magnifies up to 200 percent, firstSTREET’s computer features a whole new operating system based on a “GO” screen concept, backed up by immediate phone access to around-the-clock U. S.-based remote service and assistance.

Gordon and Myers are expecting their computer to shake up the Venture Summit. “After all,” says Myers, “who else can promise seniors a computer they can’t break, crash or confuse; a computer that won’t lose what’s put into it, that’s protected from viruses and spam? What firstSTREET is offering here is basically a failure-free and fear-free computer.”

What’s the key to the computer’s ease of use? Stay tuned for the launch, says Myers, who says he can’t wait to introduce all the fine points of the computer, including its innovative “GO” screen concept. “There’s a lot to say about this computer, starting with the fact that it’s going to add so much to so many lives,” says Myers. “It’s the cat’s pajamas and da bomb–bringing a much-appreciated simplicity to senior computing, as well as high-performance technology. This can bring seniors–and anybody who may be feeling a little technologically challenged these days–smoothly and effortlessly into the 21st century. And without the kicking and screaming.”

For more information, go to www.theGOcomputer.com.

Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, and Experts in Marketing to Baby Boomers Convene at Santa Clara University June 16 – 17

Entrepreneurs and investors looking to ride the current over-45 demographic wave will convene next week at Santa Clara University for the 2009 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit & Business Plan Competition. The event is sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and strategic business/communications firm Mary Furlong & Associates.

Among the topics on the program for the two-day event: financing a boomer-focused business; top 10 business-plan mistakes; social marketing to boomers, and lessons from entrepreneurs on marketing strategies, and methods to “scale’’ a business.

Top venture investors will share with attendees their financing priorities for the boomer and senior markets, what current research says about the market, and which areas are ripe for innovation and new product development.

For more information about the program, please visit www.scuboomerventure.com.

“We have recruited some of the most experienced experts on the baby boomer market to present during our program and to judge our business plans,” said Mary Furlong, boomer market analyst and event producer. “These people are passionate about business and new ventures that address the 45+ consumer market, and will share their thoughts on successful businesses as well as select the winning plan.”

The event will conclude with business-plan and elevator-pitch presentations, in which finalists will present their business ideas to a panel of judges. Winners receive a $10,000 grand prize or $1,000 for best elevator pitch.

Competition judges include:

  Amy Belt, Advanced Technology Ventures
  Andy Donner, Physic Ventures
  Jeannette de Noord, InnovationPoint
  Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave
  Elizabeth Ford, Santa Clara University
  Onne Ganel, Edwards Lifesciences
  Jody Holtzman, AARP
  Joshua Raffaeli, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  Nancy Kamei, Intel Capital
  Nate McLemore, Microsoft Health Solutions Group
  Shinobu Toyoda, Sega
  Jack Young, Qualcomm Ventures
  Peter Ziebelman, Palo Alto Venture Partners

The finalists in the business-plan competition who submitted plans in the areas of biodesign, medical devices, geriatrics, and gerontology are:

  Aaron Nelson, Audiallo
  Erika Palmer, HemRx Medical
  Jared Garfield, J & J Solutions
  Karen Routt, Magnolia Prime
  Kevin Chao, Miret
  Thanguy Chau, Novophage Therapeutics

Finalists for best elevator pitch are:

  Laura Nuhaan, FamiliLink
  Carrie Shores, Larson Shores Architects Inc.
  Heather Steven, Life at Home Longer
  Chris Clark, The Senior List
  John Smilgin, Traveling4Health

For more information about these the finalists, please visit http://www.scuboomerventure.com/B-Plan%20Competition_index.html

Grandparent Market – Where the Money is for Marketers?

Grandparents.  70 million of them in the US.  They buy $2 trillion worth of goods and services annually.  High levels of income and eduction. And they spend alot of money on their grandchildren.  And a whole lot of them are baby boomers!

The new report from grandparents.com takes a comprehensive look at the grandparent market — who they are, how they spend their money — and why marketers should pay attention.

Here are some of the facts:

  1. Three in every ten adults are grandparents.
  2. Medican age of a first time grandparent is 50 for women and 54 for men.
  3. By 2010, more than half of grandparent’s will be baby boomers.
  4. By 2010, households headed by 55-64 year olds will earn the highest average income, surpassing that of families headed by 45-54 year olds for the first time.
  5. Grandparent spending on grandchildren has grown an average of 7.6% per year since 2000.
  6. Grandparents make 45% of the nation’s cash contributions to nonprofit organizations and account for 42% of all consumer spending on gifts.

If you attended the Boomer summit in Las Vegas you might have had a chance to hear Jerry Shereshewsky talk about this market.  This is new research and well worth a read if this is your target market.

Find the report here

posted by Laura Rossman

Are baby boomers ready to look their age?

Will the change in the economy lead to changes in the way we think about aging –again.  So much has been written in the past decade about 60 becoming the new 40; how boomers will change aging etc.

This from Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal OpEd page on Saturday April 18 in a column about return to simplicity…

“People will be allowed to grow old again. There will be a certain liberation in this. There will be fewer facelifts and browlifts, less Botox, less dyed hair among both men and women. They will look more like people used to look, before perfection came in. Middle-aged bodies will be thicker and softer, with more maternal and paternal give. There will be fewer gyms and fewer trainers, but more walking. Gym machines produced the pumped and cut look. They won’t be so affordable now.”

I think the changing economy and retirement reality will influence boomer thinking about a lot of issues.  Some out of necessity– like money and work– and some because the pendulum did swing too far — just as in too much credit maybe too much emphasis on youth. 

What do you think?

posted by Laura Rossman

Baby Boomers in Europe use Social Media

We know baby boomers in the US are increasing using social media –FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to name a few.  And the same trend is going on in Europe according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Forrester’s Blog says, “For example, more than one-third of European online consumers ages 43 to 63 already read social media such as blogs and forums on a regular basis, and around one-tenth are already uploading their own content — such as videos and music — onto the Web. Overall, 47% of Younger Boomers (online adults ages 43 to 52) now engage with social media on a regular basis, and 41% of Older Boomers (those ages 53 to 63) do. Boomers in the different European countries exhibit different behaviors, just as their younger compatriots do – for example, 69% of Dutch 43- to 52-year-olds (and 60% of 53- 63-year-olds) use social media on a regular basis, whilst only around a third of German Boomers do. ”  More stats on the Forrester  interactive marekting blog.

More evidence that social media is a tool that boomer and senior marketers should pay attention to.

Baby Boomer Restaurant Visits Up?

The demographics of the restaurant business are changing with the economy.  The kids are staying home: baby boomers are eating out more.  That’s according to a recent survey by the NPD Group.  NPD’s CREST®, which has tracked consumer purchasing and consumption patterns at commercial restaurants since 1975, shows that in 2008, restaurant visits by parties with kids declined by three percent, and restaurant visits by young adults, the most lucrative restaurant market, dropped from 254 per capita in 2007 to 233 in 2008.

One group that has increased their visits to restaurants over the past year is Baby Boomers, ages 50 to 64, according to NPD’s foodservice market research. In 2008, the number of per capita visits by adults, aged 50 to 64 was 209, up from 204 in 2007 and 201 in 2003.

“Restaurant operators need to understand that their customer profiles are changing and it’s just not about the economy,” says Riggs. “There are long-term behavioral shifts occurring and they need to have a greater understanding of who their customers are and what those customers are looking for in their restaurant experience.”

Both quick service and full service restaurants experienced traffic losses in 2008 with kids under 13 years old. Losses were particularly pronounced at supper, but occurred at other parts of the day as well.

Although kids’ absence from the restaurant scene is a recent phenomenon, young adults have been scaling back on restaurant visits for the past five years, with the decline from 2007 to 2008 being the steepest. According to the NPD report, Holding Onto“Generation Next”… The Coveted 18-24 Year-Old, young adults’ preferences are shifting. Health and food quality is top-of-mind with them. The study finds they feel restaurant food is often too high in calories, and there aren’t enough healthy/nutritious options. They also reference poor food quality, not freshly prepared, and no fresh ingredients when evaluating restaurant food.

 While other reports we’ve seen indicate boomers are eating out less, it is interesting to see what’s happening with younger generations and their attitudes.

Posted by Laura Rossman

 

Younger Boomers Helping Drive Twitter Growth

twitter-chart1Have we finally broken the cylce of early technology adoption always begins with the younger generation? The latest Comscore numbers show strong use of Twitter by younger boomers.

twitter-chart2

 

It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving the growth trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group,.  They are followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely. 

And even the leading edge boomers seem to be more attracted to twitter than the younger crowd. 

Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up an impressive 700+% vs. year ago. The past two months alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors. U.S. traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago, according to ComScore.

It’s another reason for companies targeting boomers to take a look at adding Twitter to their marketing mix.

posted by Laura Rossman