You may be surprised to learn that Baby Boomers are the second-largest group of bra buyers, after Millennials. And their share of this market is growing at a faster rate than all other generations. One wonders why there aren't more women of a certain age (52 to 70) appearing in intimate apparel advertising or on fashion runways.
But there's no budget for us. According to retail reports, boomers account for only 10% of marketing budgets. If you're chasing after 20 to 35-year-olds, it's more like 50%. And while Millennials now outnumber boomers, their elders hold the spending power.
Maybe brands figure we're a sure thing. Our discretionary income gets spent regardless. Some speculate that many companies suffer from FOMO (fear of marketing to olds). But it's a shame, especially for boomer lingerie consumers. And I'm one of them. Thankfully, given my proximity to the lingerie world, I'm bombarded with the latest styles from new and old brands. But the average older consumer doesn't have my knowledge. Plus, the downside for brands is that they're missing out on sales.
If you're looking to market intimate apparel to Baby Boomers, then this blog is for you. I've put together a list of tips, based on the habits of Baby Boomers, along with my own biased opinions and wealth of shopping experience. Plus you'll learn how some companies do make an effort to include more mature women in lingerie and swimwear ads.
Here are six tips for selling to the boomer lingerie consumer:
Find Us Online
It turns out that over 80% of us shop online, and we spend plenty of time on social media (hello, Facebook). So that's where you'll find us. Plus we regularly shop for merch online. Much like Millennials, we gravitate to eCommerce retailers. Yet we’re also willing to shop at your brick and mortar store (as long as you provide great customer service).
Feature Us in Lookbooks, Ad Campaigns, and Fashion Shows
There's no better way to show your interest in our purchasing power, then featuring us with women of every age in your primary marketing campaigns. And don't forget the runway!
Image Maryam Nassir Zadeh S/S 19
Give Us Value, and You'll Get Our Money and Our Loyalty
Older consumers appreciate quality and excellent service. We're more loyal when it comes to brands. Unlike my adult kids (Millennials all), I like digging through product descriptions for more reasons to buy a bra (like triple-wrapped underwires). On the flip side, I'm not as crazy about changing things up just for the sake of change. Plus, there's nothing worse than finding a bra that fits beautifully and then unavailable the next season. I appreciate reliable core collections, especially when the changes are tweaks to design and more colors and prints.
Offer Support and Comfort That's Not Dowdy or Dull
No one wants to shop for bras that look like the ones their mothers wore. Like Millennials, we crave comfort. But you'll sell us with color, style, and flair. We want our everyday undies to look gorgeous, too.@Lonelylingerie Instagram Photo credit: @harrywere @lovepanache Instagram
Give Us Sensuous and Sexy
Don't believe all the rumors. Older women are both sexy and sexually active. But our skin is more sensitive and less firm. So give us comfortable fabrics, but keep us in the boudoir shoots. Flowing silky robes, chemises, and pretty bra sets are all high on my list of wardrobe-essentials. (Special note: some in my generation prefer a little more coverage in their lingerie.)@Lonelylingerie Instagram @playfulpromises Instagram @nicolajgriffin Instagram for @slinkmagazine
Make. Us. Visible.
Wonder why women complain of "invisibility" as they age? Because we disappear from marketing images. We're missing from groups of women. Most of my friends and co-workers aren't my age. (You'll find proof in the third photo down.) They span all generations. Don't just photograph older women together. Mix it up so that we reflect the diversity common in everyday life.@nicolajgriffin Instagram for @youmagazine @parfaitlingerie Instagram Photo credit: @stephaniehynesphotography @figleavesofficial Instagram
What do you think of these tips for marketing lingerie to Baby Boomers? Are there others you would add? If you know of intimate apparel brands that include more mature consumers, please share them in the comments below.