Boomer women want more relatable brands

Older women are not yearning for the beauty of their teens and 20s, but their views on beauty do change as they grow older. Marked by a confidence that is beautiful in and of itself, older women do aspire to look their best at their age, and they desire more information and product ads that they can both relate to and believe, according to a recent study on female baby boomers.

The “BOOMbox Baby Boomer Beauty Survey” examined female baby boomers (now ages 48 to 65 years) and their views on beauty. BOOMbox Network, culling respondents from its own network of baby boomer bloggers and influencers, conducted the online study in September. The goal: to find out how women older than 45 years really feel about beauty at their age and the advertising/marketing that targets them.

With the boomer consumer market valued at $3 billion yearly spend and 85% of this spent by women — according to BOOMbox Network, which specializes in reaching baby boomers through social media — it is clear that baby boomer women are important players in beauty. The question that marketers must ask themselves: “Are we effectively connecting with this consumer?”

Despite what many may believe, older women said they are not really longing for the beauty of their youth; in fact, most women said they feel/felt most beautiful between their 30s and 50s — not in their teens or 20s. Out of 100%, only 4% of respondents said they felt most beautiful in their teens, and only 7% felt most beautiful in their 20s. 

“I still feel beautiful in my 50s, but in a different way. I feel sexy, but in a different way,” one respondent said. “Physically, it was the 30s; psychologically and spiritually, it’s now,” another survey respondent said.

While inner beauty, confidence, exercise, a healthy diet and being around loved ones and close girlfriends are important triggers that help make baby boomer women feel beautiful, according to the survey, there’s no doubt that older women want to look their best and are turning to beauty products to help battle their trouble areas. The beauty problems that bother boomer women the most: yellowing teeth (74%), hair color (68%) and skin texture (64%).

However, it’s especially important to note that many baby boomer women want better information when it comes to products. According to the survey, 44% of boomer women want to improve their looks, and 38% say they want help and information — now more than ever — to know how to look better.

“Whitening toothpastes and anti-aging products make me crazy. There are a million gazillion out there, and I have no idea what to pick. Even when I think I know the brand I want, then they have too many choices, and the options do not explain to me which ones I need. Just tell me, ‘if I want to work on X, then use Y,’” one survey participant said.

But more information doesn’t simply mean developing an ad campaign featuring beautiful, young models dabbing anti-
aging cream on their wrinkle-free skin. In fact, that is likely a sure-fire way to lose her interest in your product.

“The vehemence of the opinions expressed by our baby boomer respondents begs to be noted,” the survey stated. “Credibility and relatability of advertisements for beauty and grooming products are at very low levels and hinder the connection with the midlife female consumer.”

When asked how they feel about the advertising by beauty and grooming brands, only 1% agreed strongly with the statement, “I can relate to most of their advertising.” Sixty-two percent strongly disagreed with the statement, “I aspire to look like the models in their ads.”

When asked about their likes and dislikes about beauty and grooming product advertising, 86% of respondents said they like the use of real people, and 87% said they like the use of people their own age.

“In our opinion, the baby boomer females, by their sheer volume, will demand a new order for the democratization of beauty,” BOOMbox Network stated. “Let’s see if the beauty brands are listening.”

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