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If you’ve watched a football game in the last two years, you’ve seen the M&M commercials with the song “I’m Sexy and I Know It” as the backdrop to the boy piece of candy dancing at a party, and trying to get the attention of the ladies.  (It’s pretty darn funny, you should watch it if you haven’t seen one of these yet.)

For the next 20-30 years, if you have a product or a service to provide, you should consider the new tag line, “I’m SEXY and I FUNCTION”.

You’re probably thinking “HUH?  Is this guy serious?”.  YES, I am.  Of course you may want to modify it for yourself a bit, but the point is THAT is what the Baby Boomer wants.  Period.  A product that sells to the highest mass and fastest growing sector of our population, and relates to our new found 1/3 of life we’ve added over the last 100 years, will need to be 3 simple things.  No More.  No Less.

1) Functionality – It should JUST WORK.  Work Well.  Work Right.  And it should provide a Value-Add to the Baby Boomer client.

2) Ease of Use – It should be IMPLICITLY SIMPLE to understand and use.  Boomers don’t want to babysit or struggle with their products.

3) SEX Appeal – It should be COOL, Trendy, Nice to look at, and NOT IMPLY age-related AT ALL.  Whether it’s a shoe or a house or a fall prevention device, we are all younger in our own mind, and our products and services should respect and be aware of that.

If you can do those three simple things, you have a career and a financially lucrative future ahead for your service, business, and / or product.  PERIOD.

If you don’t believe me, watch the 2013 session from the Milken Institute about “Longevity is Opportunity”.

As a licensed Architect and owner of ADM Architecture in Seattle, our products and services via ADM and here at EtMM (Empowering The Mature Mind) are doing just that for the residential portion of our firm’s practice.  We offer B2B consulting services to cities and towns (jurisdictions) for “Inclusive Neighborhood Design” and “Inclusive Housing Solutions” for builders and developers.  We design new homes and remodeling of existing houses for our clients that are ADAPTABLE for future needs that may (will) change in the home over our last 1/3 of life.  Design solutions that aren’t “ELDERLY” or “OLD”, but rather are, as previously stated,

1) SEXY:  ie. attractive to all users, and don’t scream “older person’s home” or design solution for the “less able”.

2) FUNCTIONAL: It just works BETTER, for EVERYONE.  That includes the client, the guests in the home, and for the potential caregiver that may help a client in their own home to successfully achieve “Aging In Place”.

3) INTUITIVE: Easy to use for all, without any special knowledge or effort.  This is the mantra basis for what is also termed “Universal Design”.

These are the waves of the future for housing and building solutions.  How is your business service or product shifting and preparing for these expectations of the largest portion of our population which has 5 times the net worth (read “spending power”) of the average U.S. population?  People are going to work longer (The age 65 for retirement was created in the 1880’s for political reasons, it was arbitrary, and we didn’t even live to 65 then), so we need work spaces to function better for our workforce to be at work longer.  People are going to live longer, so we need our housing to function and be adaptable for our changing needs in the last 1/3 of life to keep us happy, healthy, safe, and independent for as long as possible.

Note: FYI, EtMM is going to be assembling an expert panel and vendor sponsors for upcoming webinars for both B2C and B2B educational presentations in the months ahead, to address this topic in further detail.  Stay tuned, and sign up for our newsletter if you’d like to receive information about these upcoming events for consumer clients and business education as well!  Thanks!

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