NEWS24 January 2018

Brands missing the mark with older female consumers

Leisure & Arts News Trends UK

UK – Research from J. Walter Thompson London has highlighted the missed opportunity for brands pigeonholing older female consumers, with 91% wanting to be treated as people, not stereotypes.

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‘Elastic Generation: The Female Edit’, is based on the results of a survey of 248 women aged between 53 and 72 in the UK. The research found that nine out of 10 women would like advertisers to treat them as people, not stereotypes, and 67% of respondents believe advertisers only care about young people. Additionally, the majority ( 72%) say they pay no attention to advertising.

Earlier data from JWT’s Women’s Index study in 2016 found that 78% of women over the age of 50 control most of the purchase decisions in their household.

While over half of respondents in the ‘Elastic Generation’ research say they enjoy spending money on themselves, a fifth still have children living at home and a quarter are concerned about elderly parents. 72% regularly look online to compare prices and find deals, and 73% dislike the way their generation is ‘patronised’ when it comes to technology.

The report also highlighted attitudes towards the fashion and beauty industries. Eight out of 10 ( 82%) of women surveyed believe the clothes aimed at them are too old-fashioned, while 86% say style should not be defined by age. Sixty-eight per cent of women who use a daily beauty regime, meanwhile, say they use products to feel their best, not look younger.

Marie Stafford, European director of JWT’s Innovation Group, said: "When it comes to communications, brands are missing the mark. Back in 2015, our panel told us that it seemed all brands want to talk to them about is the end of life and physical decline: stairlifts, funeral plans and hearing aids. Their feelings today have not changed.

"Our collective understanding of what later life looks like remains woefully outdated. Age no longer dictates the way we live. The women of the ‘Elastic Generation’ are at the vanguard of this change, which is creating possibilities for brands to better meet their needs and support their ambitions."