How L’Oreal Paris Targets the Age of Affluence — When Being 70 Is the New Sexy!

As the Baby Boom becomes the face of affluence, beauty marketers must prepare to court the mature market in new ways

With the leading edge of the Baby Boom turning 69 this year, we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing mature faces in advertising.  Everything from cars to cookware is advertised with the Baby Boomers in mind, as this generation, as it always has, turns the focus of consumerism on itself and its current life stage.

Perhaps the last hold-out, however, has been the world of beauty products.  In a culture that has always considered youth to be beautiful, it’s far more common to see a beauty product commercial that promotes ways to look younger, even if (or especially if) the target market is beginning to see a few grey hairs.

For the affluent beauty customer, luxury is a state of mind, not a price point.

That’s why the recent L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect campaign caught my eye.  Featuring the beautiful 69-year-old actress Helen Mirren, the commercial promotes its product by celebrating age rather than battling it.

With the sort of moxie that only Dame Helen can bring to a scene, the actress struts through her environment, wearing a leather jacket and fire-engine red lipstick with a confidence that women half her age would envy.  Rapid cuts to her face show those famous sparkling eyes in a halo of pewter-blonde hair, not bothering to cover an ample number of wrinkles that crinkle her eyes and face as she smiles.  Those lines are a proud testimony of a life well lived.  And she uses Age Perfect because she still have a lot of living to enjoy.

But L’Oreal Paris isn’t luxury.  Many affluents beg to differ!

L’Oreal Paris has done what marketers across the spectrum of luxury products and services need to do – understand the mature affluent consumer, and make their current time of life seem to be the most exciting, sexiest time to be alive.  The Baby Boomers don’t see their glory days as having gone by; they see them as still to come, and they still have the aspirations to prove it.  Marketers need to tap into these aspirations to effectively sell their products.

The fact is, marketing to the affluent luxury consumer isn’t what it once was.  The modern affluent woman acts differently, wants different things, and shops differently than previous generations.  Take her perception of luxe beauty brands as compared with those more widely available like L’Oreal Paris.

While the luxury brands like to think of the affluents as their exclusive target, more affluent women bought L’Oreal Paris in Unity Marketing’s most recent ACTS survey than Clinique, the leading luxury beauty brand.  Further the affluent’s patronage of most mass brands included in ACTS, such as Cover Girl, Maybelline, Olay and Revlon, dwarfs that of such prestige brands as Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Lancome, M*A*C or any other besides Clinique.

For the affluent beauty customer, luxury is a state of mind, not a price point.

It is clear the affluent shopper is finding high-performance beauty solutions in the drug store more often than in the department store.

Learn more about the affluent beauty customer here and the research data available from Unity Marketing.  

L’Oreal knows how to tap the greater spending potential of the affluents by communicating with her in a meaningful way and delivering beauty solutions that work just as well — if not better than — the prestige brands, but at a price that doesn’t insult her intelligence. Understanding where these affluent beauty customers shop, what brands she favors, how much she is willing to spend and why she buys is key to targeting them.

Put your best face forward

Cosmetics brands can’t keep doing the same things they always have done and expect things to change. Brands need to start by understanding the customer and work from there to create a brand that is relevant and fills a gap in the marketplace.  There are many customers out there who will embrace aging with open arms as long as the destination looks like Dame Helen Mirren!

Unity Marketing offers a variety of market research and consulting services that will help brands develop luxury-targeted strategies that will build a loyal and lasting relationship with the affluent customers.

  • Get started: Unity Marketing’s vast library of syndicated market research studies provide a low-cost ways for marketers to gain reliable data and customer insights about specific consumer markets. And with Unity Marketing’s focus on the affluent consumer segment, you will be assured insights that apply to the best customer prospects for your category whether you are selling to the masses or the ‘classes.’  Start here by downloading the list of affluent’s favorite beauty brands.  
  • Get your foundation:  Consumer insights aren’t a “once and done” project; it takes on-going efforts to track and monitor brand connections with the target customer as he or she changes buying behavior or brand preferences. Unity Marketing offers the Affluent Consumer Tracking Study (ACTS).  This study gives marketers that want to gain traction with the affluent consumer market research-based data about this ‘heavy-lifting’ customers’ buying behavior and consumer confidence and attitudes twice a year. We also offer marketers a ‘lite’ subscription to the beauty category, if you need to track only this one product segment.
  • Intensify and focus: With experience in both collecting and using market research information and insights, Unity Marketing can help you not just in gathering consumer insights, but uncovering the nuggets that will yield the best return to marketers in strategies and tactics.

Call Pam at (717) 336-1600 or go and fill out the form on the Contact page if you’d like to learn how to put the powerful consumer insights to work for your premium or luxury brand.

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