Older US women are feeling sidelined by beauty brands
today Oct 17, 2019
As the cosmetics industry scrambles to appeal to younger millennial and Gen-Z consumers, a new study has found that both boomer and Gen-X women in the U.S. feel ignored by the current product offerings and marketing campaigns of most beauty brands.
Entitled “Miror/Mirror: Survey of Women’s Reflections of Beauty, Image and Media,” the AARP report points out that 40% of Gen-X women (aged 39-54) and 53% of boomers (aged 55-73) disagreed with the statement “the beauty and personal grooming product industry creates products with people my age in mind.”
Indeed, 70% of women aged 40 and over said that they would like to see more beauty products targeted at perimenopausal and menopausal women, a figure which highlights an interesting market opportunity for brands willing and able to rethink their approach to this more mature demographic.
This kind of strategic shift makes even more sense when one considers that, according to AARP, U.S. women aged 50 and over spend an average of $29 a month on beauty and personal grooming, representing an annual total of around $22 billion in sales.
Specialized pro-ageing labels like New York-based Boom! by Cindy Joseph and the UK's Look Fabulous Forever have already begun tapping into this market of older beauty shoppers, but mainstream brands could evidently be doing more to win them over.
And it’s not just product offerings that have got older cosmetics consumers feeling left out either, with the beauty industry’s advertising efforts also proving to be a source of dissatisfaction.
64% of the Gen-X women surveyed by AARP said that they feel older adults are underrepresented in cosmetics advertising, a lack of representation also felt by 74% of boomers. And this perception affects their shopping behavior, with 7 in 10 women in both age groups claiming that they would be more likely to buy products from brands that feature people with a variety of different ages in their ads.
Curiously, 76% of millennial women also said the same thing – perhaps because of the importance of the perceived authenticity of a brand to this younger demographic – suggesting that greater age representation in beauty advertising is a good idea all round
More generally, 85% of all the women surveyed by AARP said that they would like to see more realistic images of people in cosmetics campaigns, while 75% stated that seeing real people in beauty ads makes them feel better about themselves.
“Miror/Mirror: Survey of Women’s Reflections of Beauty, Image and Media” is based on a poll of 1,992 U.S. women carried out in July 2019.
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