Marketing beauty to middle-aged women

Middle-aged women are seeking a variety of products and services to preserve and enhance their appearance. Here are three tips on how beauty brands can resonate with this high-spending demographic.

Today, middle-aged women, commonly thought of as women in their 40s, 50s, and early 60s, face many demands. They are wives, mothers, and daughters; they are teachers, doctors, and CEOs of companies and/or their households. Known as the “sandwich generation,” these women are living in the space between their parents and children, with a substantial amount on their plates.

In addition to home and professional demands, these women are also attuned to worldly stressors, finances, and a multitude of other factors. Too often the middle-aged woman tends to abandon her own needs in favor of the needs of her family, friends, and life responsibilities. This means that beauty brands who are marketing to this demographic would be smart to help the middle-aged woman find her way back to the present – and back to herself.

First, to gain their limited attention, finding marketing methods that resonate with this group are key. Here are three effective ways to market beauty to these highly-sought after consumers.

The enduring power of celebrity advocates

For women who have holistic perspectives on health and aging, beauty is all about food, supplements, physical movement, and the things that they consume. Many middle-aged women are beginning to pay attention to adaptogens, which are natural extracts like botanical ingredients, that help the body adapt to what it needs. They are also looking to beautiful, age-defying women in the public eye who are successful in using nutrition to preserve their youth.

Brands like Moon Juice serve up healthy drinks and snacks containing adaptogen ingredients that speak directly to the needs of middle-aged women, with many of their offerings containing things like botanical anti-aging extracts. Products like Brain Dust, an adaptogenic edible powder, offers mental benefits like “memory, clarity, and alertness.” With messaging that addresses both beauty and optimized brain function, Moon Juice offers middle-aged women the tools for achieving two of its brand pillars: wellness and longevity.

But messaging aside, Moon Juice has a marketing trump card in its hand – a celebrity following. Gwyneth Paltrow famously included the powder in her highly-publicized expensive morning smoothie, giving the brand a tremendous marketing boost among affluent women who can afford the high-priced supplement. The buzz that the brand has received from celebrity-influencer buy-in has proven to be worth its weight in gold.

beauty marketing - photo of a drink

Using in-depth education and expert resources to prove brand value

Movement of all kinds supports the beauty and health routines of middle-aged women, with new preventative practices like “facial yoga” entering the beauty scene for the older set. Facial yoga is a sequence of repetitive facial movements shown to diminish and prevent the signs of stress, worry, and aging by relaxing and toning facial muscles.

Speaking of Gwyneth Paltrow, her lifestyle brand Goop, an authority for middle-aged beauty, cites a dermatological study from Northwestern University that says consistent facial yoga can significantly diminish signs of aging, signaling to older women that this is a practice to consider incorporating into their routine.

But when it comes to facial yoga, the practice may naturally carry with it a level of skepticism, which is why expert testimony and education is key. Happy Face Yoga is successful in utilizing this tactic in marketing and employs their own “Facial Fitness” experts to provide seminars, classes and resources to women to learn the practice in person or on their own via their website. By providing a multitude of expert guidance and education options to market to and guide consumers, Happy Face Yoga evangelizes the benefits of this novel exercise and ensures these education-minded consumers buy-in to the practice for the long-haul.

beauty marketing - yoga shack

Brand experiences as the great motivator

For middle-aged women seeking more drastic beauty improvements beyond what they can accomplish with food and movement, there are ubiquitous cosmetic medical procedures that reverse the effects of aging from stress and anxiety. Plastic surgery as an industry continues to rise in popularity, with recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons revealing that the number of procedures in the US crawled up 2 percent from 2016 to 2017.

That said, middle-aged women are gravitating toward minimally invasive cosmetic treatments such as Botox, fillers, and chemical peels versus more intense surgical procedures to address aging. The culture of these cosmetic treatments is changing as well, with many practitioners and cosmetic centers turning Botox treatments into a social experience for middle-aged women.

“Botox parties” are growing in popularity as an experiential tactic. Many nurse practitioners and medical spas also offer “house calls” to administer Botox and fillers to groups of women, who sip cocktails and munch on appetizers while attendees receive these minimally invasive treatments.

We’ve seen experiential approaches to cosmetic medicine like Botox and filler parties make it less intimidating for women to try procedures they’ve never done before (and are often fueled by a few cocktails). These marketing approaches are fun and provide consumers with social proof while demonstrating the products’ immediate cosmetic results.

The power of now

While beauty marketing tactics may vary, a common element exists among these approaches to beauty for middle-aged women: giving women a chance to come back into the present by slowing down, preserving their youth, and doing something to make themselves look and feel great.

It is a stressful time for the average middle-aged woman, and products or services that have celebrity or expert buy-in, communicate the why behind the treatments, and incorporate a fun experience will have an advantage. While some women opt for needles over herbal remedies, and others remain vigilant about their diet or exercise to combat aging, successful brands will make it easy for these women to give back to themselves.