Perennial women are your new market

perennial women

Perennial women are not women who grow perennials. If your target market is women, especially the midlife or older woman, then your marketing strategies are probably out-of-date.  There’s a whole new way to reach your target audience.

When it comes to traditional marketing, it’s age demographics and age-related labels. There’s a descriptive label for the Millennials, Generation X and Boomers that identify their interests and spending habits.

Who wants to see grandma in designer clothes? Click To Tweet

Traditional marketing campaigns cater to the younger generation and relegate to the side women who have aged-out. After all, who wants to see grandma in designer clothes? However, for those who have been paying attention to the stats, there’s a bigger untapped opportunity being missed.

The stats already tell us women live longer and make up more of the workforce. They also make more financial decisions and are on target to control 80% of the economic wealth.

The Marketing Mistake

The mistake most marketers are making is to believe there’s been little change in mindset and attitudes of these aged-out women.

Research indicators show a change starting with women in their 40’s who “… look, feel and live differently than the generation before them –  90 per cent consider themselves to have a much younger attitude than their own mother’s generation at the same age.”

The marketing agency SuperHuman surveyed 500 women and found:

  • 67 per cent of women over 40 felt more confident than they did a decade ago, and just as many were more ambitious too.
  • ‘Doing things that challenge me’ was important to 60 per cent
  • Personal fulfillment was a priority for 61 per cent,
  • 63 per cent described themselves as ‘very optimistic’ about the future.
  • Almost 80 per cent said they had a strong appetite to explore and experience new things with or without their kids.
  • 40-plus women feel very confident in their abilities and opinions,
    • [but] 48 per cent …said they felt less confident about their appearance than they had a decade ago, citing pressure to stay looking young
    • and 83 per cent felt this affected their self-image.

Perennial Women

Gina Bell, founded back in the late 90’s as an Internet lifestyle and luxury site which she later sold. Today she’s a tech entrepreneur and founder of the What List. All of which has led her to the cultural shift she calls “Perennials.

“We are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mindset, not a divisive demographic. Perennials are also vectors who have a wide appeal and spread ideas and commerce faster than any single generation.”

According to Pell’s friend Margaret Johnson, the chief creative officer at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, “… demographic tools are obsolete.”  

“Marketing and advertising have shifted from spending ad dollars on a single demo group to going after a cultural zeitgeist.”

Perennial women are your new marketing audience.

Why bother trying to market to them with the old labels associated with age? Rather, use the descriptives they use to define themselves.

You already know that the age-defying cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar business because it addresses appearance. Think how successful you could be if you marketed to their confidence, challenges, personal fulfillment, optimism, desire to explore and experience, and abilities and opinions?

Are there undiscovered perennials in your target market?


Images: Wikimedia Commons, Degas, A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers (Madame Paul Valpinçon