It’s no surprise that the beauty industry heavily markets to Millennials, who are known to purchase a wealth of cosmetics and hair care products. However, there is another audience that could help brands increase market share. When it comes to buying power, Baby Boomers hold the key.
Accounting for more than 70% of disposable income in the U.S. and spending over $3.2 trillion dollars every year, they are an audience with volume, money, and a willingness to spend it. Couple this with the fact that Boomers are working longer, don’t consider themselves “old”, and are interested in looking and feeling their best, and you’ve got a market that is redefining what aging looks like. The success of L’Oréal, CoverGirl and Olay has proven that beauty brands can carve a niche audience with Boomers—if they uncover the needs and desires of the Boomer consumer and learn how to target them.
Marketers need to understand that how they communicate with Baby Boomers should be different from how they communicate with other audiences. As we age, our stage of life shapes our values and purchase motivators, so when messaging to Boomers on consumer products, there are a few important things to remember.
In order to effectively communicate with this audience, it is important to remember that Boomers have been marketed to their whole lives. They have seen and heard it all by the time they’ve entered the Fall and Winter of life, making them less receptive to in-authentic marketing outreach. Aging audiences are skeptical of product claims and bristle at scare tactics. They know one product isn’t going to turn them into a movie star, so don’t pretend that it will. Instead, use age-appropriate models, realistic claims, and focus on embracing being the best you, you can be. Create an emotional connection between Boomers and their brand by defining beauty with empowerment and confidence.
Use Value-Based Messaging
While Millennials are more apt to try new products, explore different brands, and follow trends to look their best, Boomers are using products to feel their best, and want products that address their specific beauty concerns. Therefore, because different product values resonate with this consumer segment, focus less on trends and more on practical end-benefits for Boomers. Clearly define product benefits and provide product samples to test. Boomers may be more loyal to their beauty brands, but samples and talking with friends and family are ways to change the conversation and offer an avenue for new products or brands to try. The Boomer consumer is looking for products that fit their personalized needs from a brand that comes across as genuine and trustworthy.
While the focus may remain on younger audiences within the beauty industry, its important to remember that Baby Boomers are a viable target as well. Aging audiences need to be marketed to in a way that speaks to the values of their current life stage. And as this massive generation ages, marketers need to keep the conversation going.
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