The Singles Life!

You all have seen it, noticed it, wondered about it. If it seems there are a lot more singles today than ever before, you would be right! There were 37.9 million single households in 2022, or 29% of the total. That is up from just 13% single households in 1960. And it varies by age: 41% of those 18 – 29 are single, while 36% of those over 65 are single. Compare that to 23% aged 30 to 49 and 28% aged 50 to 64.

A lot of these trends are by choice. College educated career professionals—particularly women—like their lives and are in no hurry to change that. They have their friends and their independent lifestyle, and it is all good. They are busy and do not see the need or benefit of sharing a household. According to one survey, 38% of women under 30 believe marriage is old-fashioned and out of date; 25% of Millennials are projected to never marry. Plus, most singles do not believe they could find a partner that meets their standards.

So What?

There is good news and bad news here. Households led by singles do not have to consult with anyone else prior to making a purchase decision. In fact, they may be more impulsive and splurge on things like dining out, vacations, “self-care” (spas, health, and beauty products), home furnishings or experiences with friends or family. Sounds pretty good, so far.

The less good news is that to fund those indulgent “priorities,” singles often look for discounts on everyday purchases, especially in the grocery store. They will consider private label products and might switch brands to take advantage of a deal. They do still value and care about the environment, so sustainable sourcing, organic practices, and environmentally friendly packaging do get their attention.

And, let’s be honest, younger singles just getting started with their jobs and apartments often do not have much in the way of disposable income. So that segment has learned to be satisfied with sticking to a budget and being more conservative with their spending. This is especially true for those college graduates with student debt.

Some Tips

These folks tend to be curious and check things out online before making a buying decision. Peer reviews about products, and research about your company (products, people, mission, values, culture) come into play. Social media matters big time! How robust are your Facebook, Instagram, and user forum websites? Are they intuitive, interactive, and informative? Is your content updated frequently to sustain user interest and engagement?

Perhaps most importantly, if singles represent a large portion of your revenue and user base, do you personalize messaging for that audience? Do you show singles in your advertising, videos, and content? Or is it all traditional households with the occasional multicultural individual in there for good measure?

Do you have a hypothesis that buyers of your brand may have a somewhat different set of criteria and priorities than families? If so, it might be time to do a deeper dive into their mindset and what matters to them. Is product efficacy the top factor, or is it ease of use? Is it simply convenience, or is it value? Or is it you just have the best flavors? With some target audience insights, you can then consider refining your messaging for singles-specific campaigns. Play it safe by testing that messaging to make sure that it resonates and does not inadvertently alienate what might be a highly valuable franchise for your brand.

If your brand does a decent business online, experiment with ways to connect with and engage your singles clients. Validate through personal or employee trial that you have a good online shopping experience—from browsing to your shopping cart to checkout. Maybe even create a microsite to showcase user-created content, to celebrate community and alignment with your brand.

In fact, Singles Day globally (November 11), which features one-day-only discounts, is a big deal and getting bigger. In China, online sales on that day are larger than Black Friday and Amazon’s Prime Day combined, generating $139 billion in sales from 527 million shoppers last year. Singles Day is taking hold in the U.S., but at a much smaller pace.

Bottomline, ignoring singles is a potential blind spot for your brand. If you have singles-oriented products, content, and marketing, you are ahead of the game!

Want Some Help?

At Forge, we thrive on helping clients maximize brand value and digging deep to understand and act on consumer insights. We are here to be your partner, your trusted advisor, your devil’s advocate. And we will always bring the conversation back to strategy. How do we best engage with and attract your primary target audience? How does your product uniquely meet the needs of customers? How do we maximize the market opportunity across all customer segments? 

Importantly, we are pragmatic, focused, nimble, smart, and energetic. We get assignments done well, and quickly.

Take the first step to a more successful business today.

1.    Hit “LET’S TALK” to schedule a free 30-minute discussion. No pressure – we promise.
2.    We’ll provide real-world case studies showing the process in action.
3.    If we’re a fit, we finalize the details and get started!

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