Our quote of the week comes from the Omaha World-Herald, which is just now reporting on something the bohemian told you about a couple of weeks ago. I guess news travels slowly out there on the windswept prairie. The article is about how companies are avoiding the word “senior” when they market their products and services to baby boomers, who regard the word with ferocious contempt. Reporter Pat Waters has this to say about the trend:
Will senior centers become “boomer cafes”? Senior living facilities “encore communities”? Senior discounts “special pricing for mature customers”? Obviously, there’s a real danger of taking this too far.
Well maybe…but I think this is more about discarding a label that has become outdated and meaningless. Waters goes on to say that boomers’ rejection of the term “senior” may not just be about our desire to maintain a constant youthful self-image. And that brings us to our quote of week from Anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, who says increased longevity added years to the middle of life, not to the end:
There’s no language for this new phase of life. Everyone is casting around for the right word. My feeling is we don’t have a term because we don’t have any one thing that would work. … It’s a way too diverse population to describe in one word.
Wow! Someone recognizing that boomers may not actually think, speak and act as one huge, monolithic group. Guess that means you marketing and advertising folks are gonna have to work a little harder to get our attention.