The Top Five Consumer Segments of Women Over 40

By WomenAdvancing Archives
Cover image for  article: The Top Five Consumer Segments of Women Over 40

As more and more brands recognize the economic power of female consumers, more of these brands have altered their marketing plan to include strategies that “market to women.” Unfortunately, marketing to “women” is one of the most vague and least personalized marketing strategies I can think of. Instead, brands need to assess what kinds of women their brand wants to target.

Her age, hobbies and interests, relationship status, income, household members, location, work status -- applying all of this consumer information will play a major role not only in identifying the segment of women your brand wants to reach, but also in the content creation and delivery of your brand’s message. The more you know about her, the more genuine and personalized your brand’s message will be.

At Vibrant Nation, we conducted a survey that as a result segmented women 40+ into groups based on brand messages that worked for her, messages that she didn’t relate with, and most importantly, the emotional motivators that ultimately lead her to purchase.


Below are the top five consumer segments of women over 40 to consider when your brand revisits your 2016 “Marketing to Women” strategy:

  1. The Self-Interested Spender

She makes original, independent choices, but she still has a need for recognition. She is not afraid to try new brands that better meet her needs today (she’s brand dis-loyal) and she chooses brands that listen and understand her. Brands whose messaging speaks to her with acknowledgement of her unique needs will earn her trust. Brands that focus on how other people will view her if she does or does not purchase a product will only irritate her, thus losing the sale.

  1. The Simplicity Seeker

She seeks quality and simplicity to explore a more authentic life. She’s focused on quality over quantity. Many empty-nesters might be downsizing at this time, but it doesn’t mean she’s spending less money. It actually means she’s spending more on higher quality purchases made less often. Brands that speak to her with honesty and messages around balance, value and selectiveness will earn her trust more often than brands that voice a “more is better” message.

  1. The Value Endorsers

She makes societal values-based choices. She’s focused on companies that give back to the community and help the environment. TOMS Shoes is a great example of a brand whose message worked very well with this consumer segment. Brands focused on “indulging yourself,” on the other hand, are undesirable to the value endorsers.

  1. The Experiential Indulgers

Unlike the previous segment, experiential indulgers enjoy rewarding themselves with new, expensive brands. Cost is not a major factor for her when making a purchase, and more times than not, she wants what she wants, when she wants it. Align your brand message accordingly.

  1. The Other Pleasers

She makes purchase decisions based on the needs of others. She plays an active part in caregiving and the sandwich generation. She doesn’t mind being told what to do because she lives a selfless, family-oriented lifestyle and her purchases reflect that.

“Women” is not a target market, which is why it is crucial for brands to first define their target consumer, understand who she is, what she wants, and why she buys, and then align your brand message according to a more defined target market.

Image at top courtesy of Corbis. The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.

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