Women aged 45-60 are still being ignored, overlooked and misrepresented by retailers according to a new study into retail marketing to middle-aged women in the UK by The Behaviours Agency.

According to the research, 69% of women aged 45-60 feel invisible to retail brands whilst 62% think that ads rarely show someone that they can relate to.

The report is the result of eight months of research featuring in-depth interviews with 300 women, a survey of more than 1,000 females aged 45-60 and reviews of UK brand and influencer comms targeting this demographic.

More than half (54%) of middle-aged women think that retail advertising targets their insecurities and almost three-quarters (72%) believe that ads are setting unrealistic beauty standards for women in their age bracket. Additionally, 75% think there is too much on physical appearance over wellbeing.

There is a push against the misrepresentation of this age group by focusing on issues such as menopause. The GenM awards recently recognised brands such as Boots, Next and QVC, for their commitments to improving the menopause experience within the retail industry.

However, the managing director of The Behaviours Agency Sue Benson asserted: “It is shocking that in 2023 retailers are still getting it so wrong with midlife women. A demographic with considerable spending power, dubbed ‘super consumers’ by Forbes, they make or influence 90% of household budgetary decisions in the UK. But outdated narratives still prevail.”

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She adds that along with the lifestyle changes that happen for women in the 45-60 age bracket comes a change in shopping behaviour. “There is massive potential for brands to tap into this spending power and aptitude to find new solutions – if targeted correctly.”

The Behaviours Agency is building a resource centre to help brands navigate the increasingly complex landscape of marketing to midlife women.