Baby Boomers are making changes in today’s markets. This demographic group, born between 1943 and 1960, is both large and long-lived. Because of these factors they form a large market for items that will make aging more comfortable and independent. In fact, the demands from this group for age-easing products have been helping creative entrepreneurs make names for themselves. Here are a few of the products that entrepreneurs have created thus far.
A Self-Propelled Bike
An article in the New York Times reports that Evelo is an electric bike that lets the rider determine the frequency of pedaling. If the rider cannot handle pedaling at any given moment, the bike will still move, thanks to the electric motor. This offers the best of both worlds for seniors who want exercise, but cannot handle biking on their own power for long distances or cannot handle inclines and other obstacles that make riding more difficult. While Evolo bikes cater to the older generations, they are built for any age and demographic, helping anyone who wants to do so have the capacity to ride longer distances without undue exhaustion.
Reading Glasses with Flair
A Baby Boomer herself, the founder of Eyebobs, answered one of her own needs. Reading glasses are a necessity for many seniors, yet the readers that are available at most local pharmacies are drab and undistinguished. It was reported in Forbes magazine that Eyebob founder Julie Allison wanted something better when she realized that she needed reading glasses as she aged. Yet Allison found that fashionable prescription readers were prohibitively expensive. Now her company, Eyebobs, offers fancy and whimsical reading glasses at much lower prices than most opticians. The Forbes article notes that not only are sales booming with the Boomers, a celebrity clientele has bought in too, with such luminaries as Katie Couric sporting Eyebobs glasses.
Fashionable Walkers and Canes
There are few accessories more aging than gunmetal walkers and clinical-looking canes. Today’s Baby Boomers simply don’t want to look so un-hip. They also do not want to be typecast as seniors to be pitied or as has-beens in life. Just because they need a little assistance with walking, they don’t see why they should carry around an accessory that looks like it belongs in a hospital. That’s why several companies have started creating fashionable walkers and canes to help this group and anyone who needs a walker or cane to use one in style. Today’s walkers come in various colors, including pink and blue; some canes come wrapped in flowers and other designs; and fancy attachments for these devices help seniors move effortlessly without looking helpless or hopelessly out of date.
In fact, one of the first “fancy cane” stores ever opened was started by an 89-year-old woman. She started a company with a Kickstarter campaign called Happy Canes, which decorated walking sticks in artificial flowers. Today there are numerous companies that offer a variety of decorated apparatuses.
Footwear that Is Attractive
Anyone can spot footwear made for seniors from a mile away. Such shoes are generally unappealing to look at, yet they have the level of comfort and support that seniors require. That is why an article in the New York Times reported that Bruce R. Katz had founded the Samuel Hubbard Shoe Company, which produces attractive yet supportive shoes for senior men. Katz recognized the importance of having shoes that enable senior men to walk on a daily basis, as 30-minutes a day is recommended for good health, without being embarrassed by their footwear or sacrificing comfort for style. The shoes he designed have insoles created in three parts and a lightweight design that greatly differs from the heavy, clunky sneakers seniors are used to purchasing. The shoes also come in vibrant colors.
The Baby Boomers are a big market and not shy about making their wants and needs known. Entrepreneurs have taken note that meeting the market needs of Baby Boomers is a good way to make a splash. Thus, products that enhance the aged life are readily available, especially through the Internet, making life easier for seniors and their caregivers with many offerings of products of convenience or fashion at reasonable costs. A quick search online will often yield the perfect product. After reading reviews of an online company and checking with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company exists and is solvent, seniors and their caregivers can rest assured that even relatively new entrepreneurial enterprises can be trusted to meet the needs of this aging demographic.
Gustke, Constance. (August 3, 2016).The Hottest Start-Up Market? Baby Boomers. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/business/smallbusiness/the-hottest-start-up-market-baby-boomers.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FElderly&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection&_r=0. Accessed on August 15, 2016.
Jacobs, Deborah, L. (September 17, 2014). Irreverent Boomer Eyes A Multimillion Dollar Business. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/09/17/irreverent-boomer-eyes-a-multimillion-dollar-business/#3a3ce3956774. Accessed on August 15, 2016.
Kavilanz, Parija. (February 20, 2013). 89-year-old grandma’s startup on Kickstarter. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/20/smallbusiness/grandma-kickstarter-startup/. Accessed on August 15, 2016.