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A comparison of younger and older baby boomers: investigating the viability of cohort segmentation

Timothy Reisenwitz (Department of Marketing and Economics, Harley Langdale Jr College of Business Administration, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia, USA)
Rajesh Iyer (Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 3 July 2007




The purpose of the paper is to examine the relationship between two age cohorts within the baby boomer group, younger baby boomers (born between 1956‐1965) and older baby boomers (born between 1946‐1955), based on various behavioral variables. It is postulated that, even though this group is exceedingly large in number, there are more similarities than differences among its younger and older members.


The study sample was a convenience sample and consisted of 295 respondents who were in the 40‐58 age category. A questionnaire was administered with scales that were well established and that have been used in previous research.


With the exception of cognitive age, there were no significant differences between younger and older baby boomers regarding a large number of salient behavioral variables. This conclusion suggests that marketers use caution when applying the widely accepted age segmentation strategy of splitting baby boomers into younger and older boomers.


The results of this study caution the marketer in further dividing the baby boomers group based on cohort segmentation. The results of this study suggest that cohort segmentation is a viable beginning for dividing consumers into groups, but that other demographic and/or psychographic methods need to be considered in subsequent segmentation efforts for baby boomers.



Reisenwitz, T. and Iyer, R. (2007), "A comparison of younger and older baby boomers: investigating the viability of cohort segmentation", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 202-213.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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