Make way for the ‘echo boomers,’ defined in a new report from IBISWorld.com as a “subsegment of generation Y born to the baby boomers.”
Currently, there are about 65 million of these so-called echo boomers (EBs from here on out) in the United States. Though the qualifying birth years are loose at this point, researchers are typically focused on 16- to 30-year-olds, definitely a formidable segment of today’s market.
So, boomer and senior readers, do any of these characteristics (based on a few highlights from the IBIS World report) sound familiar? Could you attach some of these values and behaviors to your children and grandchildren?
- Debt is bad. City living is good. Homeownership isn’t a high priority for EBs, given that many are already carrying heavy financial burdens (student loans and credit card debt, exacerbated somewhat by their parents’ losses in the housing crisis). Instead, they’re renting apartments and seeking employment in urban city centers.
- They’re all about high style at the lowest price. H&M and Target are popular stores for this demographic, offering chic duds and accessories at appealing, non-budget-busting prices. Top designers are responding accordingly, introducing new product lines aimed at this fiscally conservative (albeit by default) crowd.
- Men can stay home with the kids AND hit up the salon. (i.e. goodbye, traditional gender roles). Maybe you’ve heard the term “metrosexual,” derived from metropolitan and heterosexual? It’s a label devoted to men who are “concerned with style and appearance, as well as family, food and art.” And, more men today are doing household chores that their mothers only dreamed of getting their husbands to do just a few decades ago.
- Mind-body-soul: it’s all connected, and EBs want every aspect performing at its best. They may not have money to invest, but echo boomers are investing in themselves all the time. The world is flat, as they well know, and with the competition for their jobs spanning the globe, they’re educating themselves to stay ahead…and for their own personal enrichment.
- EBs are virtually never unplugged. iPads, smart phones, netbooks, MacBooks — whatever they have, EBs’ gadgets have become like a third appendage and they’re tweeting, updating, networking, connecting and texting the days and nights away.
If you want to learn more about this emerging demographic, download the full report via this link.
Your turn: Are some of these shifts for the good? Do any of them worry you? Let’s talk about these trends. Share your thoughts below!