Marketing: Sell It to the Psyche

Forget age, income or race. Marketers increasingly care more about your values and lifestyle when figuring what you're likely to buy

Hallmark Cards prides itself on its ability to translate societal trends into greeting cards. So a few years ago, when Hallmark's marketing group looked into its demographic crystal ball and saw 78 million baby boomers hitting age 50, the company created boxes and boxes of friendship, birthday, anniversary and thinking-of-you cards, all designed to subtly flatter the aging boomer's flagging middle-aged ego. Shipped to Hallmark stores in 2000, the Time of Your Life line of cards was displayed in its own section and featured active midlifers looking youthful as they frolicked on beaches and dived into swimming pools. "We had done...

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