Article by Ceri Wheeldon
What can I say. Just as I think we are making progress in terms of changing perceptions of women over 50, a series of things happen that make me realise we still have a long way to go!
Why is it that so many brands are out of touch with the way women in our age group live our lives, and what we want to buy?
I get inundated with press releases from brands wanting to highlight their range of products and services – and have them showcased on the Fab after Fifty website. Most start with ‘we know your readers will love our new…….’ Then follows a host of images of clothes even my grandmother would not have worn. Long skirts with elastic waists, sturdy lace up shoes, shapeless cardigans and jackets. When I point out that readers of Fab after Fifty would prefer to clothes which are more stylish, the response is always that the clothes are aimed at the over 50s, and that I’m wrong. Most of us don’t want phone handsets with large keypads designed especially for us, I point out- we are quite happy with our iphones or Samsung Galaxy’s. Many, not taking no as an answer via email, then call me.
I obviously don’t understand what my readers want, they tell me. Also, as I’m over 50, it seems that many young PR people seem to think that I need them to speak very s-l-o-w-y and very loudly. I obviously haven’t heard or understood how wrong I am in not thinking that their very unflattering clothes/products/services are exactly what we have all been waiting for. If they speak more slowly perhaps I will see the error of my way of thinking. I have lost count with the number of times that I have had to explain that what they are offering is not in line with how we women over 50 or 60 live today. Have they even bothered to look at the website?
I also get tired of explaining that we don’t want clothes targeted at us worn by 20 year old models, nor do we want a woman of 50 portrayed as having a blue rinse sitting in her rocking chair.
It does highlight, though, that by ignoring what we, as consumers want, they are missing the opportunity to sell to us. As our demographic continues to grow, brands really need to understand that we are a generation with our finger on the pulse. We are vibrant women, living busy lives, and the products we choose to buy reflect that. If they continue to ignore us, it will be to their detriment, and those brands that do listen, and market or sell to us in the right way will be the winners.
I would love your thoughts on this topic.
Who do you think has got it right when it comes to delivering products that we want to buy, and marketing in a way that we can relate to?