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Meeting The Needs Of The Over 50s Consumer (RCD Ep9)

L-R clockwise. Leon Bailey-Green (Editor, Upper Clash), Miranda McMinn (Executive Editor, woman & home), Kevin Davis (Creative Director, The Designlab), David Lockwood (Co-founder, The Tapestry Agency), Dr Max Gowland (Founder and Managing Director, Prime Fifty), Anna Cusden (Managing Director, Look Fabulous Forever), Stelios Pardalakis (Founder, Stellar Search).

Meeting The Needs Of
The Over 50s Consumer

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This time round we were joined by leaders of brands dedicated to the older consumer.

Prime Fifty and Look Fabulous Forever are two brands selling beauty and wellness formulated for the specific needs of over 50s, whilst woman & home magazine is the publication aimed squarely at the older woman.

Prime Fifty is the brainchild of Dr Max Gowland, a former innovator at blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser. Using data on eating habits, from Public Health England, he recognised the over 50s were deficient in many nutrients, thus spotting a gap in the supplement market “it was obvious we could develop a brand which was tailored for that age group” he said.

At the age of 65, after finding make-up didn’t work well on her skin, Tricia Cusden set up Look Fabulous Forever, a beauty brand for older skin. Her daughter, Anna Cusden, the company’s managing director, said “Our customers appreciate that we show older women with wrinkles, with grey hair” – a contrast to the many beauty brands which push an anti-ageing agenda.

Similarly, readers of Woman & Home magazine find it refreshing to see ladies of their age represented in the media. “When we feature models in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, we’re inundated with positive responses” said executive editor Miranda McMinn.

Max, Anna and Miranda were joined by Kevin Davis, Stelios Pardalakis and David Lockwood for this discussion hosted by Upper Clash editor Leon Bailey-Green.

Stelios, from marketing agency Stellar Search, revealed which social networks are best for targeting the 50+ demographic, and how their use of e-commerce has changed in recent months.

David, from marketing strategy firm The Tapestry Agency, says attitude needs to be considered alongside age pointing out the need to use other data points to understand customers.

Kevin, from creative agency The Designlab, spoke of the older demographic’s e-commerce preferences, highlighting how they might prefer to consume content.


Scroll down for the long edit.

Using younger models when targeting older women – 1 minute 57 seconds.

Anna asks if women are conditioned by society to want to see clothes on models younger than them, or if fashion brands mistakenly believe it’s what older customers want. Miranda says women over 50 want to see women who look the same age but slightly better.

YouTube, QVC, Facebook… channels used by the older demographic – 1 minute 52 seconds.

With 46% of over 65s, and 68% of 55-64s using Facebook it’s the leading social network to target the older consumer says Stelios, but other networks are growing. David thinks print should be a consideration alongside digital. Max says the personable nature of QVC helps explain the benefits of supplementation to its target consumers.

Has the older consumer grown accustomed to e-commerce? – 1 minute 42 seconds.

Stelios reveals if the growth in older consumers taking to e-commerce has stuck. David says reviews and recommendations mean more to this age group. Kevin reminds of the importance of e-commerce security, something the older customer is particularly sensitive to. Max talks of the spike in website visits after appearing on QVC.

Content that engages baby boomers – 2 minutes 1 second.

Miranda says it helps to be in the over 50 demographic to write content that connects with the cohort. Anna speaks of the importance of content to Look Fabulous Forever with founder Tricia being an authentic voice the customer can relate to. Kevin says older users like to read long form content.

User experience preferences and considerations for older users – 1 minute 22 seconds.

Kevin says older consumers spend longer navigating websites, and suggests design is considerate of font size and screen setting adjustments. David speaks of the demographic’s tablet and mobile usage compared to millennials.

Segmenting the wide pool of over 50s – 1 minute 23 seconds.

Anna says it’s important not to lump older customers into one category, reminding a 50 year old has different attitudes to ageing to a 70 year old. David reveals a third of the population are over 50, making it difficult to treat them as one homogenous group.

Finding external data to understand customers – 55 seconds.

David suggests using external data to create ‘cohorts’ to better understand customer types beyond age. Max speaks of using data from Public Health England to understand nutrient deficiencies in the over 50s.

The gap in the over 50s market – 2 minutes 3 seconds.

Miranda says there’s plenty of opportunity for the over 50s who feel sidelined. Anna talks about the frustration which drove her mother, Tricia Cusden, to create the beauty brand Look Fabulous Forever. Max used real data to conclude the need for a supplement brand aimed at the over 50s.

Using print to target the mature customer – 59 seconds.

David says print and digital together deliver a better response than either channel alone. Miranda explains the print and digital magazine experience difference.

The Long Edit – 24 minutes 36 seconds.

This time round we were joined by leaders of brands dedicated to the older consumer.