Dychtwald, Maddy Kent 1952-

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DYCHTWALD, Maddy Kent 1952-


Born February 13, 1952, in Newark, NJ; daughter of Stanley and Sally Susan (Gordet) Fusco; married Kenneth Mark Dychtwald (a consultant), November 24, 1983; children: Casey, Zakary. Education: New York University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1974.


Office—Age Wave, Inc., 2000 Powell St., Ste. 1680, Emeryville, CA 94608-1861; fax: 925-254-1513. E-mail—[email protected].


Consultant and speaker. Actress, 1974-83; Dychtwald & Associates (marketing consultants), Emeryville, CA, director of special projects, 1983-86; Age Wave, Inc. (generational marketing consultants), Emeryville, cofounder (with husband), 1986—, director of communications, 1986, vice president of communications, 1987-90, senior vice president of communications, 1990-95, business development.


International Association of Business Communicators, National Association of Female Executives, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Actors, American Film Institute.


Cycles: How We Will Live, Work, and Buy, Free Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Contributor to journals, including Journal of Consumer Marketing.


Power Trends: Boomer Impact on the New Millennium Generation.


Maddy Kent Dychtwald, an authority on generational marketing, cofounded Age Wave with her husband Ken, whose book of the same title was published in 1989. Dychtwald is a frequent speaker before corporations and charts the trends that help businesses plan their marketing campaigns.

Dychtwald noted in a Journal of Consumer Marketing article that "we see a tremendous growth in the over-fifty-five population." She also pointed out a shrinking younger population. This is due to the fact that baby boomers had fewer children; more than one fourth had no children, and another fourth had only one. "In a real reversal of the status quo, there are now more Americans over the age of sixty-five than teenagers," Dychtwald stated. From a marketing standpoint, this means that the age group typically targeted by advertising, those from eighteen to thirty-four, is shrinking, while the group of affluent adults over fifty is expanding. Businesses need to be able to see this change of market.

Dychtwald emphasizes the importance of recognizing the needs of older adults and suggests that more products and services must be created to meet them. At the same time, she projects that the boomer generation won't even consider themselves to be seniors until they are about eighty, much older than the previous generations. They will be more active and healthy, often working well beyond traditional retirement age, and will have the largest disposable income of any group, which they will enjoy spending on themselves and their grandchildren.

She felt gerontophobia is most destructive "in the media, which is so youth-obsessed, in marketing, which often portrays old people negatively, and in the workplace, where many young and usually well-meaning managers hold a variety of misconceptions about productivity and aging." Dychtwald said that age prejudice is not fact-based, and named a number of high achievers of later years, including Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who finished Faust after the age of eighty, and Michelangelo Buonarrati, who was appointed chief architect of St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome when he was seventy-one.

In Dychtwald's Cycles: How We Will Live, Work, and Buy, she says that people are now living their lives according to cycles, rather than age. These cycles include people remarrying, having children, changing careers, and returning to work at much later ages than have previous generations. A Publishers Weekly reviewer believed that many of her observations have been well-known for many years, rendering the book "already behind the times itself."

Cecil Johnson reviewed Cycles for SiliconValley.com, saying that "the influence of baby boomers in pioneering lifestyle changes is one of the dominant themes of Dychtwald's treatise. She traces their effect upon society from youth through adulthood and to approaching senior citizenship.… It is that cyclic, as opposed to linear, approach to living that Dychtwald perceives to be the new wave."



Discount Store News, June 5, 1995, "A Generation Comes of Age," p. 22.

Journal of Consumer Marketing, fall-winter, 1997, Maddy Kent Dychtwald, "Marketplace 2000: Riding the Wave of Population Change," pp. 271-275.

Publishers Weekly, October 2, 2002, review of Cycles: How We Will Live, Work, and Buy.


Maddy Dychtwald Home Page,http://www.maddydychtwald.com (July 1, 2003).

SiliconValley.com,http://www.siliconvalley.com/ (May 4, 2003), Cecil Johnson, review of Cycles. *