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2013: The Year Of Being Single

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Married Couple X

Last summer I looked at The Rise of The Singleton Society and how I felt this was the new demographics marketers would want to market too. However, we weren’t and in many ways, aren’t still being acknowledged as an important demographic in society.

Now as we finish off January 2013 and fully focus on the next year, we’ve more research showing that 2013 is The year of being single and there is no turning back now.

There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for marketers to confront these outdated stereotypes. The massive shift away from traditional families to single-person households is having dramatic consequences for shopping habits.

Thinking of the last few years and living in Melbourne. I definitively shopped more then my married counterparts and even those dating someone, especially related to grocery and CPG. Out of the 2011 UK census:

For the first time, married-couple households are in the minority at 47%. Single-person households are increasing at a rate of 166,000 a year. Singletons are on course to become the biggest type of household by 2031, reaching 10.9m, according to the Government Office for Science.

Which becomes even more acute as the number of married people in the UK has held steady at 21.2M and yet single people has gone from 12.7M in 2001 to 15.7m in 2011 and I suspect that number is going to shot up even faster in the next 10 years as generation Y & Z move further into the adulthood stage of life (which includes yours truly).

Why Does This Matter?
As I said 6 months ago; single people are no less social or have less hobbies and interests because we’re the new family dynamic that marketers need to keep an eye on. What has changed in the last 6 months is more focus by some marketers here in the UK, YO! Sushi and Wagamama and McDonald’s, to better understand & cater to us in a subtle way that doesn’t make us feel isolated, alone or different. The communal table and many fast food and take & go establishments.

I feel the bigger challenge for many marketers will be how to target single men compared to single women and then even those within the LGBT community who are single. The subtle differences that make each of those stand out & unique is an opportunity for any global or local company to build a loyal following and win our brand attention.

The rise of singletons is no different then when marketers in fashion started to cater to men more. Now many are reaping the benefits of that as sales have jumped globally, menswear sales grew by 9% in 2011, which is almost twice as fast as womenswear and amassing total sales of $33 billion. Or all the dating apps that try to make it a social group experience.

So marketers, are you ready for the rise of the singleton society? because we are truly here and not a minority group no more.

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