Delance president on why watch houses need to target her generation.

By Gisele Rufer

Manufacturers are missing the biggest, richest market of today: baby boom women. These women have money to spend, make most purchasing decisions at home and they live 15 years longer than their husbands do. So why aren’t manufacturers paying them attention?


I do not own an iPod or Xbox, or a pair of joggers with Juicy written on the rear. I don’t drink Bud Ice or wear FCUK, or paint my nails with Hard Candy’s Peep Show Pink. I have used the same mayonnaise brand since 1978 and I am a little confused about whether the musician Nelly and Nelly Furtado is one and the same person.

From many major strategy gurus’ standpoint, the 58-year-old female entrepreneur is a has been; a washed-up consumer, a marketer’s black hole. However, marketers in the US are now challenging this norm. They see the new dare to be different trend as an emerging force. Brands cannot dismiss females like me. They say if you do you are likely to miss the biggest, richest, most lucrative market of the today: baby boom women.

Given marketers’ and manufacturers’ obsession with youth – a fixation that began in the 1960s when Baby Boomers were themselves adolescents – this may seem an odd group to target.

The numbers do not lie. In the US, women carry 76 million credit cards, 8 million more than men, and they start 70% of all new businesses. The 40-plus age group is now approximately 60% bigger than the 18 to 39 age group in the States.

Baby boom women have money and lots of it. Just consider a 60-year-old female business owner like me. I have invested more than £3,500 in IT equipment and purchased two cars for my business. My husband and I have just purchased a new dishwasher, washing machine, one flat screen television and redecorated the bedroom and the living room. Guess who influenced all those purchases?

And don’t forget: the older woman is more assertive and global in her outlook. Women love to talk and are the best networkers in the world. On average a woman will refer to something 29 times versus just 2.8 times for a man.
So come on Swiss manufacturing, wake up to women and consider ways of inspiring more women within the watchmaking industry.

This column was taken from the February issue of WatchPro magazine. To read a digital version of this issue online click here. If you’d like to write a column for WatchPro email the editor at