There is no doubt there are changes happening in the beauty industry and we like to think we have been instrumental in creating the “anti ageing” backlash. Remember back in 2013 when I wrote about how real beauty isn’t re-touched and getting older is something to be celebrated rather than feared.
Amanda recently mentioned the great video by The Future Laboratory, Beauty: The New ‘Age’ which includes interviews with inspirational women, such as Linda Rodin, Caryn Franklin and Anna-Marie Solowij. It looks at the negative terminology around ageing and the gradually changing attitudes within the beauty and fashion industries. It is both insightful and intelligent and well worth taking a look at.
A while back when we spoke at one of the Future Laboratory networking evenings, many of the attendees and the team at the Future Lab were really interested in how passionately we felt about targeting older consumers and we have been talking to brands for a while now about the need for relevant product and intelligent marketing for our growing demographic. But while everyone is interested and willing to engage in the conversation, apart from the occasional older model featuring in magazine and fashion shoots, Charlotte Rampling appearing as the new face of Nars and the excellent Boots No 7 advert back in 2013, we are not yet seeing many real changes either in the way the fashion or beauty industries target our age group.
The next five to ten years will see a massive shift in attitudes to ageing and this has to affect the way marketers and retailers target the older consumer. We also have to see a change in the way society as a whole views growing older, as traditional life stages and career paths become irrelevant and we have to re-think social, political and economic issues.
Boomers present so many opportunities businesses will need to address. Not only will they have to adapt their products, but their sales channels, advertising, tone of voice and a whole host of services will have to be re-thought for a new generation of consumers who no longer think of themselves as old – but equally don’t want to pretend that they are young.
The current conversations around targeting boomers are encouraging and a step in the right direction, but at the moment they fele like just that – conversations – and what we would like to see now is some action.
We would like to see positive older role models in the media – not just Mary Portas re-employing pensioners and older people being ridiculed in adverts. TV and publishing companies need to wake up to the fact that we are the only ones who still watch TV and read magazines (millenials don’t) – although probably not for much longer – as Ed Burstall from Liberties so rightly pointed out in the FL video, “consumers have sidestepped letting someone else edit for them and have become their own editor.”
We would like the words “anti ageing” in the beauty industry to become a thing of the past (the head of M&S beauty denied any knowledge of this being a negative term, when we spoke to him recently – hello!!) and we would like to see some of the high street fashion stores target our demographic in a aspirational and relevant way – i.e. stop employing young designers and buyers to create clothes for older people.
We would also like to to hear some positive stories about older women being employed for their experience and and knowledge rather than being overlooked or ignored. Yes there are (some, not enough) older women in top positions in industry, but what about the women who are not board directors or company owners who want to change jobs when they are 55?
It’s not too much to ask is it?
And if any brands or retailers want to talk to us and our readers about targeting our market – get in touch, one thing we are not short of is opinions – but maybe that’s what they are scared of!