Iconoculture (www.iconoculture.com) conducts consumer research based on observation, and analyzes the results to help its clients tap into specific consumer wants and needs. Armed with this information, these companies can strategize, fuel their growth, and innovate with new products.
One of the largest generational groups important to upscale remodelers is baby boomers. Our research has shown that affluent boomers embrace several core values that drive the kinds of purchases they make. Indulgence is one value — the freedom to spend money on fulfilling their dreams.
They may have had to hold back on indulging themselves while they were raising their children, but now it's time for them to have what they want. This can translate into remodeling projects for empty nesters that turn little Jane's or Johnny's former bedroom into a home spa or a walk-in closet and dressing area.
Boomers Get “Personal” Identity is another key value. Boomers feel that they have a unique identity and a need to maintain it. They want to make choices that are “cool” and that are perceived as being on top of trends. This need for identity has revealed itself in the movement toward rejuvenation projects — for example, loft living in the inner city. For boomers who choose to remain in the suburbs, they may opt to remodel the family home, updating it with an open-plan kitchen so it can be more “cool.” It's the new puberty — the rediscovering of parts of themselves.
Boomers want to create a “personal signature” in their living environments that reflects their personalities. This can result in the desire to create an environment for an art or an antique collection that they have built up over a lifetime. They may now be ready, for example, to create a museum-quality living space around the collection with special lighting and shelving.
Boomers are also redefining how aging is perceived, because they don't want to grow old. Boomers are looking for what's in vogue and are attracted to updated style and design as part of this age-defying attitude. If a boomer has a passion for modernism, for example, he or she might be attracted to the edgy Hansgrohe Starck Axor line.
Maturing boomers want universal design elements and products that offer simplicity and convenience to make living easier, but they want them integrated into their homes with a sense of style, such as attractive, self-cleaning windows.
Mature boomers also place a value on legacy and want homes that are welcoming to children and grandchildren. There is an increased emphasis on guest suites and flexible rooms with hideaway beds to accommodate family members when they visit. A boomer might want to turn that bonus room into a crafts room where he or she can work on projects together with the grandchildren.