Why Women Over 40 Are Critical to Your Brand’s Success

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I’m a woman over 40. Most of my friends are women over 40. And my advertising agency has a particular talent in reaching women over 40. So you could assume that I have a vested interest in promoting the value and importance of this portion of the population. But this isn’t about me. Or Fancy. It’s about you: the brands. It’s about growing your business. It’s about making a meaningful difference—not just for women, but for your bottom line.

First of all, there are a lot of women over 40.

There are 83 million women over 40 in this country. That’s a full 25% of the population. Put another way, 1 in 4 Americans is a woman over 40. And half of those are women between the ages of 40 and 60. The last time I checked, a potential customer base of 40-80 million people was not insignificant. Especially when they have cash.

It can not be overstated that women over 40 have money. And spend money.

Generation X (defined as people born between 1965 and 1981) have more spending power than either the Baby Boomers ahead of them, or the coveted Millennials behind them—and who makes 85% of the decisions on how to spend that money? That’s right, women. 

Women over 40 love products that are created for them. Hair care brand Hair Biology launched recently to address the specific needs of women’s hair as they age. A number of intimate wellness brands help with the changes women’s bodies go through as their hormones shift over time. These brands are welcome and a long time coming, but women over 40 are more than just coarse hair and hot flashes. 

Believe it or not, they buy tequila, tampons, and technology. They bank, renovate, and drive. They need tires and air conditioners and plane tickets (post-vaccination, please...). In other words, everything that anyone needs to live a typical life today. 

She is at the center of her community. Financially and otherwise.

Because women over 40 are extremely diverse in their life stages they are influencing (or in most cases, simply making) a tremendous amount of spending decisions for people other than themselves. She could be looking for healthy food to feed her family, stimulating toys (or college options!) for her children, corporate benefits for her company, interesting date-night spots for fun with her partner, or products and services for her aging parents or in-laws. 

By the way, they’re not afraid to try new brands, and when those brands work for them, they stay loyal. Not only that, but they tell their friends about these brands and give them to each other as gifts, creating a virtuous cycle of new customers and fans over 40. 

But back to the money: Women’s peak earnings arrive in their 40s.

While Millennials are figuring out the job market, women over 40 are often at the top of their careers, and 40% of women over all are bringing home the paycheck that supports their family. Many are also choosing not to marry or start families and have only themselves to spend money on.

Women control over half of all personal wealth. And they’re about to control a lot more.

And while Millennials (and to a greater extent Gen Z) are still building their wealth, Gen X has five times what they have and Baby Boomers have double that. And when those assets begin to change hands, watch out. By 2030, less than ten years from now, American women are expected to benefit from a potential wealth transfer that is nearly as great as the entire annual GDP of the United States. 

Millennials are winning in one area: Debt.

Millennials have the fastest-growing debt load This 22% increase in just five years is more than any other generation in history. What is that in dollars? A cool $1 Trillion. And a huge percentage of that is student loans which are 300% greater for Millennials than their Gen X predecessors. 

So brands, ask yourselves: can you actually afford to ignore this market? Because women over 40 are buying products in your category. If you were actively engaging them they’d be buying yours.

If you understand the value of including women over 40 in your marketing mix but struggle to do so in an interesting, relevant and motivating way, consider joining Fancy’s webinar “How to Reach Women Over 40” on Thursday, April 29 at 12:30 pm ET. Co-Founder and co-CCO Erica Fite will share insights from our survey of nearly 500 women over 40 and offer tips you can use today to better connect with this valuable audience. Sign up right here.


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