Are you ready to tap into the next big beauty market?

There’s unprecedented change taking place in our society, which will likely have serious repercussions for the beauty industry far into the future.

Women over 50 are increasing in number, becoming more powerful at work and in possession of serious spending power.

Yet because of an outdated view of older consumers, many businesses are ignoring this affluent market in favour of their younger counterparts.  While others are making marketing faux pas that may see them lose this market forever.

Ask Mabel, a new search engine for the over 50s, is a prime example of what happens when you adhere to the deeply flawed stereotype that exists.Initially, it featured the cartoon character of a little old lady with grey hair in a bun and round granny glasses. Most likely stung by the criticism this image attracted, the website has just changed it to an old-fashioned sepia picture of an elderly woman which could have been taken 60 years ago.Described as “over 50s social networking”, its attempts to woo this market have been met with disapproval and contempt.

It’s no wonder when you consider the role that women over 50 are now playing in our society.Fran Moscow, a leading executive coach and senior leadership trainer, is a champion for women on boards. “We’re experiencing another revolution. The suffragettes started it, women’s lib followed and now we’re into the next phase,” she believes. “Women are evolving and showing up as a powerful force. Many are 50 plus.”

The truth is that there are increasing numbers of influential women in the workplace and many are over 50.

In 2011, Lord Davies published a ground-breaking review of Women on Boards. His primary recommendation proposed that FTSE 350 boards should aim for a minimum of 25% female representation by 2015. “In 18 months there’s been a significant change in women on boards and the number of all-male boards is down to 6 or 7 from over 20 in February 2011,” says Fran.

The numbers speak for themselves, but Fran is also seeing another change amongst the women she is working with. “They are better turned out and I’m seeing a difference in the way they handle themselves. They are no longer fighting men.”

Older women are changing: they hold more senior positions, have greater confidence and want to look the part. The way that women are perceived is changing.

So when is the beauty industry going to change to meet the needs of this market?