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Aging Gracefully: How Boomers Buy Beauty | WMI

Posted by Ann D'Adamo on Jan 27, 2017 8:30:00 AM
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It’s no secret that the beauty industry markets to Millennials; that makes good business sense—they buy more cosmetics and hair care products and are actively engaged in the category. Understandably, as women age, are more likely to have established beauty routines and might be less interested in experimenting with the latest beauty trends. Yet, these women are still interested in looking and feeling their best—52% of Boomer women say they use beauty products to look good. As the U.S. population ages, there’s an opportunity to reach this consumer with messaging that appeals to their values and products that address age-related concerns.

Healthy and Wise

With age comes wisdom…and that’s particularly true when it comes to beauty. Boomer women don’t endeavor to turn back time—they want products that directly address their skin and hair care concerns. When asked what benefits they wanted in skin care, 60% were looking for products with moisturizing/hydrating properties to address dry skin, only 38% were interested in anti-aging claims. Other product benefits that appeal to older women include products formulated for sensitive skin, added SPF, and those that include skin-nourishing vitamins. The four most-desired features in hair care focused on maintaining a healthy appearance—scalp health/anti-dandruff, preventing hair loss, hydrating, and volume boosting.

Routine Breeds Loyalty

Whereas Millennial women love to explore brands and try new products, the majority of Boomers have an established skin and hair care routine. Half of Boomer women say their main reason for buying skin or hair care products is replenishment—only 13% said they actively seek out products that work better than their current brand. When it comes to beauty products, impulse purchases are unusual, fewer than 5% said they would buy something unplanned. While this is good news for brands with whom these customers have a long-standing relationship, it can be a challenge for brands trying to break through. To reach these consumers, encourage them to upgrade their beauty routine, encourage trial, and tout those product benefits that are important to them at this life stage.

Experience as Influence

It’s unlikely that Boomer women are following Kylie on Instagram or tuning into Zoella’s latest makeup video on YouTube. When it comes to beauty products, experience is their guide. Nearly 60% said previous personal experience remains their most significant purchase influencer, followed by word-of-mouth sources such as friends and family. Offering free or low-cost samples lowers the risk and allows consumers to experience the product and form an opinion.

Quality + Price = Value

Boomers prefer branded products—43% prefer them to private label. Value is important to them and they aren’t willing to trade quality and products with specific benefits for a low price. Luxury brands don’t fare as well with older consumers, only 14% say they purchase upscale beauty brands. Here’s where mass brands can win! She won’t be easily convinced, but those brands that combine high quality formulations, personalized solutions, and value will attract loyal Boomer consumers.

Boomer women are most interested in achieving a healthy, natural look. Women’s Marketing offers unmatched experience in reaching women at every life-stage and interest. Learn how we can put our expertise to work for your brand. Contact us today to get started!

Source: Euromonitor’s International Beauty Survey 2016, Mintel The Beauty Consumer March 2016

Filed Under: Beauty