Over 50s Women Talk Health & Beauty Products

July 4, 2017

Seb Smith   Seb Smith | Project Manager at Vox Pops International

We are conducting qualitative video research with the Over 50s this year, using a variety of methodologies including vox pops, focus groups and video diaries.  The key insights are then presented as short videos which we share on our YouTube and website channels.  If you want to get involved by adding a question or topic, please get in touch.  Click here for more information

This month we interviewed and filmed women aged 50-70 about beauty products covering cosmetics, haircare & skincare, looking at brand loyalty, purchasing habits, influence of price, favourite brands and products, and where they purchase from.

It’s no surprise to hear that these experienced shoppers know what they want and are willing to pay a pretty penny for quality. But what does that mean for brands?

In the UK, the beauty industry topped the £4-billion mark for the first time last year – so the industry is booming. However, marketers continue to focus their efforts on Millennials and need to reassess how they represent the Over 50s, as a significant proportion feel excluded and stereotyped by the advertising and marketing geared at this sector.  A study last year showed that 9 out of 10 women aged 40-plus feel ignored by beauty ads.

Like the majority of Baby Boomers, the women we interviewed were loyal to branded products they’ve used for years and rarely buy new products on impulse.

“Once I get to the shop, those products that I have in mind, I buy”

As price isn’t a factor, own-brand items are less attractive and seem cheap, and therefore untrustworthy.  One woman told us, “I’m happy to stick with known brands, even if the ingredients might be the same”.

Our video research showed, for these mature consumers quality is all-important, which means cosmetics free from chemicals that offer high quality formulations are of real value. Not one of the women we interviewed even mentioned anti-ageing, which supports the trend that Boomers have little interest in this claim and would rather benefit from products with skin-sensitive & hydrating qualities.

“If it’s too cheap it can’t be good!”

So, unlike Millennials who are strongly influenced by social media and YouTube celebs, the Over 50s require a different approach. With word-of-mouth still being a reliable source for Boomers, beauty-care brands must now look to create unique marketing messages for this demographic and abandon middle-of-the-road, stereotypical advertising.

“If I have friends that have used it, that is very important to me to know that they say it’s good… that would entice me to buy it, even if it’s a bit more exensive”

Brands must highlight how more expensive products offer greater quality and encourage the Over 50s to upgrade their established beauty routine through trials and product benefits that are important to them at this life stage. Offers also help when marketing trusted products.

To watch more videos on this subject please go to our Over-50s YouTube Playlist

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