Market Research

What We Do:

Coming of Age (COA) provides in-depth market research, consulting and coaching in the 50-plus consumer space. Three generations occupy this space, all impacted in some way by Boomer-world; the Baby Boomers themselves, pre-Boomers and Gen Xers who began turning fifty in 2015.

We help brands that already target older Americans have more sensitive connections with their audience, and we help companies not marketing in this space understand and engage these profitable but under-appreciated markets.

Many mainstream brands no longer specifically target older Americans because they believe consumer-buying decisions become inflexible after age 50 – certainly after leaving the 25-54 demo – and that maintaining loyalty is easy.

However, after a lifetime of constant change, Americans over fifty are actually the nation’s most adaptable generation. They have re-invented themselves for decades, adding new layers of context, attitudes and behavior as society and technology evolve. Moreover, as owners of over 80% of U.S. household net assets, misunderstanding this enormous buying power brings a huge opportunity loss. Therefore, both existing players and newcomers to the space need continuous, informed conversations with America’s 50-plus consumers.

Our Approach:

Before marketers and advertisers can effectively engage older consumers, they need authentic guides and skilled interpreters.

  • First, to dispel costly myths and understand Boomer-world dynamics
  • Second, to build on both new and existing knowledge to develop more effective products, communications and branding
  • Third, to provide feedback and refinement as competitors wake up to the 50-plus marketplace and react

Older consumers are on guard about revealing their true motivations and – especially – their vulnerabilities when interacting with younger market researchers in standard Q&A situations. However, in the real world, these hidden triggers drive decisions.

Therefore, COA experts are all Boomer-Plus themselves. We’re in the same life-stage – we don’t just know them, we are them and we connect seamlessly with their inner minds. However, turning 50 does not automatically create a Boomer expert. Our professionals all go through a unique certification program to re-calibrate and re-immerse in the cultural context of the Boomer experience.

Our Services:

COA provides in-depth market analysis, qualitative research and training/mentoring.

  • Independent analysis of existing client market research, survey data and strategy
  • Focus groups, creativity workshops, product design labs, ethnographic research and in-depth interviewing
  • Consultation in quantitative study design – methodology, questionnaire development and data analysis
  • Refinement of current communications, creative development and brand positioning programs
  • White papers, seminars, workshops and coaching/mentoring to acculturate marketers to the 50-plus world

Our Senior Consultant:

COA research professionals have all had successful careers serving domestic and international clients as corporate managers, ad agency strategists and/or entrepreneurs. Skill sets cover a full range of product and service categories.

Team Leader: Barry Robertson

Barry-Robertson-300px

Starting out at McCann-Erickson’s Marplan division in Los Angeles, as a young Boomer he co-founded J. D. Power & Associates with trailblazer Dave Power before embarking on an independent career as a qualitative researcher, strategist and consultant.

Since the early 1990s, Barry has served as the U.S. partner for several leading international research consultancies, interpreting American consumer dynamics for overseas decision-makers.

The COA team’s wide experience includes work in the automotive, commercial vehicle, motorcycle, recreational products, health/wellness foods, healthcare, insurance, medical, financial, alcoholic beverage, consumer packaged goods, travel and luxury/high net worth consumer categories.

Contact us for more information:

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