I was chatting with some friends the other day and asked them this very question. The funny thing was that they were able to talk about their favorite brands, describe some products and their benefits, compared to other products, but were unable to answer my question. And do you know why? Because the answer to that question is more difficult than we imagine.
For a brand to represent me, it must speak directly to me. As a middle aged woman, with a more refined taste due to the experiences she has lived, who already knows what she wants (or at least what she doesn't want – which already means a lot!). As a woman who is responsible for her purchase decision (and many times for her partner and the whole family), with enough purchasing power to not only influence, but to actually buy. And best of all, to be loyal to the brand, if it meets her needs.
Yes, I prefer products that meet my needs. They may be a little more expensive than the average, but I´m willing to invest in them. Investment implies return! And who, at the height of their youth, is talking about “investing” in products when it comes to buying goods? That is probably the last thing in the minds of youngsters. They want to wear what everyone else is wearing; what's trendy. And pay as little as possible for it, because the money is short.
As a middle aged woman, the conversation is different. How can I possibly buy clothes from brands represented by 20 year old models? My body has not been the same for a long time! My children whom I love and am so proud of have left their mark on me, and there is nothing wrong with that. More than a beautiful and shredded body, my priority at this point in my life is having a healthy body, which can support "the weight" that age brings with it. But this doesn´t mean that the desire to feel good inside this body suddenly ceases to exist. It's been here the whole time. In fact, the way we dress is the way we communicate without having to open our mouths. So, more than following fashion standards trends, dressing is closely associated with my essence.
I bursted out in laughter at the thought of me wearing one of the pieces of lingerie worn by the wonderful Victoria´s Secret´s Angel. Of course there are women in my age – and even older, - who have stunning bodies, and I have friends who have sculptural bodies, but, on average, middle age gifts us “width and depth” (literally and figuratively).
And what about the expression marks embedded in my skin? Each has a story and, as they seem to enjoy hanging out together, with each passing day, their little groups only get bigger. And don´t get me started on the law of gravity! If I could I would tell it: if you won't help, at least stay out of my way!! Any makeup looks perfect on the skin of models in their prime. But how does one choose a brand that not only understands all these changes, but also offers a wide selection of products that value my face with all its changes? Who are the ambassadors for these brands? Do they show the same signs of aging as I do, and do the products work for their skin?
I am trying to write in a light and fun way, but the truth is that very few brands have awakened to this market segment which we are a part of. In the meantime, we keep trying to fit standards that are not our own. Making excuses and telling ourselves that we gained a few extra pounds in the last few weeks because we had no time to work out, or because we ate more than we should, but believing that next week, that outfit will fit like a glove!
We want brands that translate this new woman that we are becoming (yes, because we are constantly under construction). Full of life, energy, plans, curiosity, and lust. Eager to learn and be productive, we left the stereotype behind. Our age does not define us. Our attitude does!