The Boomer Project

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The Boomer Project is a market research consulting firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, United States, which specializes in marketing to the baby boom generation. It was founded in 2003 by Matt Thornhill (an advertising executive) and John W. Martin (a market-research executive), both of Richmond, based on the belief that major-brand advertisers were neglecting the boomer demographic in the United States (those born between 1946 and 1964).[1]


Advertising campaigns were typically created by young people for young people, targeting the 18- to 49-year-old age segment (when consumers are believed to develop brand loyalties). Thornhill observed that the ads did not resonate with boomers, who (at that time) were passing their 50th birthdays at the rate of about 10,000 per day. Thornhill made the case that the 76 million boomers had reached their peak earning years, and had more purchasing power than any other U.S. generation in history. Boomers were not especially brand-loyal, he contended. To sell effectively to them, marketers needed to take into account the characteristics of the boomer generation and their stage of progression through life. The common thread, he suggested, was a quest for physical, mental and spiritual vitality.[2]

The Boomer Project reached its current (as of 2011) organizational form when Thornhill affiliated with the Southeastern Institute of Research, an established consumer market-research firm also in based Richmond, of which Martin was the CEO. In 2007, Thornhill and Martin published Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Important Demographic Group. The following year, they advanced the argument that the global financial crisis marked a watershed in boomer behavior. Boomers (who had led the nation into debt during the borrowing binge of the 1990s and 2000s) would embrace "responsible consumerism" as they boosted savings for retirement, became more environmentally-conscious and valued friends, family, spirituality and experience over the accumulation of material possessions.[3] In 2009 the firm launched "Generational Advisor", an electronic newsletter and research database which provides generational perspectives to the financial-services industry on consumers of financial products and services.


The Boomer Project has clients in financial services, healthcare, consumer products, media and the not-for-profit sector. The list includes:

Corporate structure[edit]

The Boomer Project is a partnership owned by the three principals:

  • Matt Thornhill, president
  • John W. Martin, chief executive officer

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Love Those Boomers". Business Week, October 24, 2005 Retrieved 2011-12-02.
  2. ^ Richmond Times-Dispatch: "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been -- and Continues to Be"
  3. ^ Richmond Times-Dispatch: "The Age of Responsible Consumerism Begins"