So Much More Than Numbers: The Magic of Marketing to Your Target Demographic, Part 2 of 3
Published in PBA Progress, June 2011
By Alisa Marie Beyer
We all know that demographics play a major part in our lives. How many people live in your zip code; how big is your kid’s school district; how much money will it cost you to purchase a car on one side of the country versus the other? But when it comes to branding, developing and thriving in the beauty industry—knowing the intimate, psycho-graphic details driving how women approach beauty, decade by decade, is a treasure trove of information that shouldn’t be overlooked in the excitement of product and brand identity development.
The woman in her 40's and 50's
She's motivated, she's focused, she's likely firmly entrenched in her career; potentially a mother of older children, even teenagers; and she knows what she does and does not like when it comes to her beauty products, so don't waste time trying to turn this woman's head with fluffy promises or empty ad space—she wants benefits and results. And luckily for her, there are plenty of options to choose from. Women in their 40's and 50's look younger and healthier than ever, and are benefiting from some of the most sophisticated, advanced skincare technologies available to help them maintain their youthful looks. However, women in their 40's and older are, for the first time, likely facing some signs of aging that they have never faced before: fine lines, crow's feet, age spots, grey hair and the dreaded expression lines between their brows and around their mouth and nose.
"she knows what she does and does not like when it comes to her beauty products, so don't waste time trying to turn this woman's head with fluffy promises or empty ad space—she wants benefits and results."
In spite of starting to notice the budding signs of aging, overall, women in this age group are happy with the way they look, and comfortable with who they are and where they are in their lives. For this woman, concerns about acne or looking professional are not as critical. Instead, she's focusing not so much on the macro-elements, but on the micro-elements of her appearance: 60 percent are concerned with fine lines and wrinkles, age spots (38 percent), unwanted facial hair (46 percent), and, interestingly, signs of aging on her hands (47 percent). Consequently, women in their 40's and 50's are looking for the latest innovations in beauty: the scientific techniques, the breakthrough formulas, the super-hero ingredients—she wants them all. For her, to blend in and be comfortable trumps standing out and looking sexy (although don't discount this woman: she's still hot!) and she's far more likely to purchase a familiar beauty product, one she's used before (and has proven to work) than anything fancy, new or flashy simply for novelty sake.
"women in their 40's and 50's are looking for the latest innovations in beauty: the scientific techniques, the breakthrough formulas, the super-hero ingredients"
When she is purchasing, women in their 40's and 50's seek out classic stand-bys: blush (they are 15 percent more likely to buy blush than 20-something women); lipstick (56 percent of women in this age group buy lipstick), and the one product 53 precent of these women can't live without is mascara. Perhaps because the signs of aging are top-of-mind, this woman is also more likely than a 20/30-something woman to use eye cream and night cream on a regular basis.
"Women in their 40's and 50's are more likely to look for product claims that are backed up by clinical research than any other age group."
To capture this woman's attention, due diligence is not just a pre-requisite, it's a red-hot must. Women in their 40's and 50's are savvy consumers, and when it comes to their skincare, they are on the prowl for the latest scientifically-proven ingredients. Resveratrol, Acyl-Glutathione, Marula Oil—the more exclusive and new it is, the better. Complex, complicated ingredient names or technologies don't dissuade this consumer, nor do they confuse or alienate her and, in fact, only make her believe in (and want) the product more strongly. Hand-in-hand with her desire for the latest, greatest ingredients is her belief in clinical studies. Women in their 40's and 50's are more likely to look for product claims that are backed up by clinical research than any other age group. However, interestingly, although women in both their 40's and 50's want the newest, most scientifically advanced ingredients, when it comes to their budgets, 40-somethings are more willing to spend a few extra bucks, where women in their 50's would prefer to find the same ingredients in a product that costs slightly less than luxury brands.
Look for the final article in Alisa’s series “The Magic of Marketing to Your Target Demographic” in the July issue of PBA Progress to learn about marketing to women in their 60′s and beyond.
About the Author
A proven entrepreneur, Alisa Marie Beyer has built and sold three companies and is the founder and Creative Director of The Beauty Company (TBC) — the beauty industry's #1 consultancy for consumer research, brand strategy and product development. We help clients build beauty and health brands and products women want to buy. As the "McKinsey of the beauty industry" TBC offers product concept and development, consumer insights and intelligence, and brand strategy. Serving our clients at every stage of development — from startups to 13 of the top 15 global beauty companies — we intimately understand the industry, the consumer and the market, and become an integral part of each client or project team. The publisher of the "must read" Pink Report® and WomenTrends® , at TBC we keep our finger on the pulse of the industry and offer unparalleled consumer intelligence and proven methodologies. Learn more at thebeautycompany.co.