The beauty industry is caught between appearing youthful yet desperately clinging to their ageing customers.
We see the signs everywhere;
The increasing use of older women in advertising. For example Susan Sarandon, Helen Mirren and others promoting for L’Oreal.
The move away from the expression ‘Anti-Ageing’. The Editor of Allure magazine has resolved to stop using the term “anti-aging” in her pages going forward. Yet if you click on the link and peek at their home page, you’ll be lucky to see any model over 20.
The business of fighting aging has produced a secondary aversion — not just to the signs of ageing but to the signs that we’re trying to stop the signs of ageing. This is why the unnatural signs of face-lifts and Botox can be so unnerving: They remind us not only that we are all getting older but also that we’re trying so desperately not to be, and mostly failing. So says Amanda Hess in a fabulous article she wrote for the New York Times magazine; The Ever-Changing Business of Anti-Aging. I recommend you to read it.
There are two rather depressing truisms that the beauty industry – and it’s loyal followers, would rather not hear;
Ultimately, gravity wins. Despite attempts to ‘fight’ ageing.
The only real solution to ageing is death.
In the meantime, there are billions to be made selling hope, dreams and youthfulness. One just needs to know the delicate balance between selling youth and patronising graceful aging.
Marketing to the Ageing Consumer successfully, requires an understanding and response to the physical effects of ageing in a way that is natural and beneficial to customers of all age. In that way, you minimise the risk of projecting stereotypes and of stigmatising older customers based on their age.