Women over 50 are among the most affluent consumers in the market today. Many of us have led successful careers, own property, and aren’t ready to spend our retirement years sitting in a rocking chair. But when it comes to brand product marketing do companies recognize what appeals to us or are they passing on opportunities to maximize their return?
Women over 50 are prominent leaders in business, politics, and entertainment. We are no longer an invisible demographic like our mothers were.
Product marketing and fashion Over 50
How many times have you been frustrated shopping for clothes because stores cater to young women under 30 who wear size zero? I always look for brands that offer attractive clothing for mature women who don’t always have perfect figures, That’s not always easy, though. Most banner ads feature young models with tiny waistlines, sleeveless blouses, and short skirts. It’s rare to find one with a stylish older woman that doesn’t look matronly.
You can walk for miles in the mall and never find a sophisticated outfit that fits or is flattering. It’s not that stylish clothes don’t exist for older women, but you have to search high and low to find something that isn’t dowdy or silly. I’m not one to go for sweaters with pumpkins or baggy “grandma” pants.
Online shopping makes it easier to find what you’re looking for because you can search for specific features like ¾ length sleeves, midi skirts, long tunics, or comfortable shoes. I’m sure older women like Diane Keaton, or Meg Ryan have no trouble shopping for clothes because they never gain an inch, but the majority of us, who are not content to live in jeans and sweatpants, are looking for more variety to choose from.
Don’t pitch me adult diapers
I’m not saying we don’t pee our pants, especially when we laugh, but I don’t see us getting excited about incontinence products or walk-in tubs. I can’t tell you how many times I get pitches from advertisers pitching elderly products. They think that because I write for women over 50, that’s what my audience wants. We may be “officially” seniors, but we’re still active, engaged, love to travel, and some of us are even looking for romance.
Older women are smart and educated
Don’t sell us your snake-oil. One thing I’ve found in the over-50-market is a proliferation of products that claim to heal every ill from leaky gut to forgetfulness. Ads pop up every time we land on Facebook that takes us to long videos hawking weight loss pills or cures for indigestion. Most of these products are expensive and not very effective. Older women want the facts, clearly, and truthfully. We don’t appreciate being lied to and don’t want to waste our retirement income on useless crap.
We are proud to be our authentic selves
I applaud older style icons who dress creatively and authentically. Iris Apfel may go a bit overboard but I think she’s fabulous. She’s sticking her middle finger up to what older women are supposed to look like and is truly herself.
Another is Lyn Slater, a 60-ish Fordham Professor whose bold and high-fashion style has turned her into an Accidental Icon. She doesn’t look like your typical Grandma and is a force to be reckoned with.
Older French and Italian women dress elegantly and are revered as fashion consumers. If you’re looking for a fabulous outfit you may have to go to Europe to find it.
Banish derogatory terms for aging
Product marketing to Baby Boomer women frequently uses the term “anti-aging.” It was popularized in the 1980’s by an advertising exec and is still used extensively by skincare and beauty companies to market products for women over 50. Now that we’re older it’s redundant.
The phrase is slowly being replaced by terms like age-defying, Pro-age, and Age Perfect. Women over 50 are striving to be vibrant, luminous, and glowing. They react better to product marketing phrases that are positive and empowering.
As an older woman, what attracts you to product marketing for our demographic? Please leave a comment below.