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Generation Ageless: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Live Today and They're Just Getting Started Hardcover – 1 Oct 2007

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Baby Boomers may be the most famous generation ever to exist. The cohort of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 changed everything about marketing. Attempts to understand them in the 1960s provoked terms like the Generation Gap and gave birth to marketing as we know it. This ground-breaking Yankelovich study will transform and expand our understanding of the Boomer generation as they reach their majority. With the first Boomers reaching 60 this year, they have become the dominant generation. Boomers are now CEOs and grandparents, hall of famers and church leaders. They hold positions of power and have created some of the most important institutions in our society. Boomers are all of one generation but they don't speak in the same voice. The shared experiences of the boomers created a common set of new values: an emphasis on self, an acceptance of less structured lifestyles and a desire for more enriching personal experiences. But those values can be expressed in very different ways.Simply contrasting Bill Clinton with George W. Bush shows how two Boomers can interpret the greater focus on self-fulfillment in very different ways.

"Generation Ageless" will reveal the cohort's interest not in remaining youthful but achieving and everlasting mid-life. It will show what boomers believe and how those beliefs have changed over time. The book will emphasise three main ideas that motivate them: Youthfulness, Impact and Empowerment. And use the primary dynamics of Spirituality, Self and Society to identify the six main segments of the Boomer generation: Straight Arrows, Due Diligents, Maximizers, Sideliners, Diss/Contenteds and Re-Activists.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Get the skinny on boomers 27 Feb. 2008
By The Culinary Tourist - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The April issue of Writer's Digest arrived in my mailbox on Saturday and I've been in a snit ever since. "Publish Your First Book after 50," said the headline, but here's the real kicker -- "Who says publishing is a young person's game? Here are an agent's tips to writing and publishing well into your golden years."

Golden Years? Excuse me, but the writer must have been addressing his article to my 80-year-old parents. It'll be another quarter century before I reach MY golden years, thank you very much.

WD editors clearly haven't read Generation Ageless: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Live Today ... And They're Just Getting Started.

"It is pretty well recognized that Boomers should not be addressed as 'old people' or 'seniors.' This language does not resonate with Boomers and usually alients them," say authors J. Walker Smith and Ann Clurman, of Yankelovich, Inc., a leading consumer research company that has helped marketers understand consumer values and behavior since 1958. "On the other hand, they are responsive to marketing that uses an active, lively, youthful tone."

Ours is a generation that not only can't afford to retire, we don't want to. We are constantly reinventing ourselves, breaking all the rules and looking for ways to make a difference in a changing world. And still, we are not satisfied, which opens a window for marketers who can make a convincing pitch.

Baby Boomers are not all alike, and the authors slice and dice the data so thin you can slip it into a dozen different pair of skinny jeans without even holding your breath.

Given that Yankelovich actually coined the term "Baby Boomers" back in the late 1960s when they first started collecting data on my self-absorbed generation, and they've studied our dreams, buying patterns, health habits, and values every decade since, they ought to know what they're talking about.

The book, though bogged down with buzzwords and text-book tedious at times, is a must-read for anyone who has a product, service or idea to sell to this influential group of 78 million consumers. Now where are my reading glasses ...
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Baby Boomers - the Ageless Generation! 12 Feb. 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Generation Ageless

By J. Walker Smith and Ann Clurman

Generation Ageless: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Live Today...And They're Just Getting Started, by J. Walker Smith and Ann Clurman, is a book you must read. Why? Because people will be talking about it! And those in the know know to read this book!

Baby Boomers--you may have heard the phrase, this catchword many times; but did you know there are 78 million of them? After reading this book, I believe there are even more-for surely there are those, like me, who were born on the "cusp--9 months before 1946!" and see themselves more like boomers than any other group!

Yankelovich, Inc. began studying consumer values and lifestyles in 1958. As I started reading Generation Ageless, I did not realize how the activities by a company, about which I knew nothing, could be writing about--me! It was at first exhilarating--then it got downright eerie! Yankelovich chose to begin studying Americans through the gathering and analysis of data by generations. Certainly, they could not have projected at that time that the generation born during the years 1946 to 1964 would become the largest group of any during the last century! Due to the number of individuals, it is also perhaps one of the most influential groups of people in the past and for the foreseeable future.

Generation Ageless is extensive and covers many issues. In some ways, it is like reading a biography of 78 million people, in one book! In another way, it is pure demographics about Baby Boomers. At the same time, every marketing agent should be studying this as a textbook! Put all together, it is one of the most interesting and informative books I have ever read! It is an interesting read with both narrative and charts; however, with excellent writing, the authors have made what could be very dry into something that comes across in a personal fashion and includes information for anybody of any age.

Before reading this book, some of us may have begun thinking about planning for retirement or considering what we might want to do "with the rest of our lives." Even if we didn't feel like our lives were over, we might have felt that society was seeing us that way. Well, after reading Generation Ageless, we will find that we are all thinking the same thing--we are too young to retire...we want to continue doing the things we are now doing and we want to continue them for as long as we want to! So, we now have the key words to explain that! We are not going to ever get old; we are merely middle age-less! "How cool is that?" as one commercial declares.

Baby Boomers want to matter; they want to have a presence and an influence. "Or to put it in the way that best reflects the edge they give to it, it's a matter of immortality and morality." (p. xiv).

The book uses the terminology that has been coined in the past: the Matures, Baby Boomers, Xers, and Echo Boomers. I found it especially heartening that the Baby Boomers group has expressed many of my own thoughts, as I've grown older. We look back with some regret to that accomplished by the Matures. We worry about the Xers and Echo Boomers. But no matter what, Baby Boomers are going to stay in the game. And because there are so many, what Baby Boomers will continue to do for themselves will directly benefit others.

Baby Boomers, in turn, have been divided into the Straight Arrows, Due Diligents, Maximizers, Sideliners, Diss/Contenteds, and Re-Activists, with the driving force being the Maximizers. Readers may see themselves as having started out as one type of individual but changing, due to personal experiences, later in life. As the book says, "maximizers are the most enthusiastic Boomer segment. They want more of everything and they want more out of everything." (p. 188) While the book indicated that maximizers had something in common with every other segment, I thought perhaps another way of saying this was that we all had some part of us that were one time or another in our lives!

This book is fun to read! It is encouraging; it is disheartening...but it is about us! If we have an enemy, then the enemy is us. But if we also believe that our future will be bright, we also know that the Baby Boomers will be there, shining and basking in the light provided by that generation!

You'll be placing this book on a nearby bookshelf. It is a great resource of information. It gives you much to ponder. And it's fun to read and talk about! I highly recommend Generation Ageless.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Every bit as good as hearing J. Walker Smith speak on the subject 7 Sept. 2008
By Linda Thompson, Host of The Authors Show - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
J. Walker Smith truly knows his subject. After hearing him speak, I just had to purchase the book. It's packed full of information for those seeking to understand the Boomers and what makes them tick.
Helpful, but not the best 3 April 2015
By mmcleodamcom99 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good book, but not nearly as good as a lot of the other books available.
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