Why Brands Should Pay Attention to the New Age of Singledom
We’re halfway through 2019, and as we approach a new decade, we’re letting go of old stereotypes. As consumer behaviours change, they are not defined by traditional (and sometimes outdated) values. Independence, authenticity and self-expression are much more important today, which is why we’ve seen the rise of singledom. “It’s a natural evolution alongside job hopping, co-living, co-working, digital obsession and a moving workforce,” reports a recent study by think-tank JWT Intelligence.
The Single Age, as JWT defines the trend, is less about being “single” and behaving promiscuously (though no one is judging), and more about empowerment and living for yourself - something we at Truffle are forever passionate about. That’s not to say that if our dream man appeared and offered to sweep us off our feet we would decline; of course we wouldn’t! However, we are here for breaking the mould of traditions and being in control of our own decisions and lifestyles. The Single Age is happening now and it is about being unapologetic in YOURself.
As a result of feeling more confident, empowered and fulfilled with the decisions they make without seeking validation, uncoupled people drive new habits and behaviours. What’s more, their expectations of brands and how they engage with them has significantly changed. Below, we have rounded up a few categories in which members of The Single Age are transforming.
As solo travelling is on the rise, hospitality and travel brands are reacting accordingly. One of the main developments we’ve seen includes pushing the wellness and self-care element in the hotel space, so that solo (and coupled) visitors can still recharge and relax while on holiday, rather than going back home even more exhausted than when they left. For example, in 2018, hotel chain Hyatt revamped its high end Hyatt Place brand to promote well-being. The update included guest rooms divided into different zones for sleeping, working and relaxing with comfortable mattresses, blackout shades and warm-coloured lighting to improve sleep quality. The hospitality brand also expanded its fitness facilities by launching fitness and mindfulness video content in its mobile app.
Another way hotels are catering for solo travellers (and also trying to show an edge against sharing economy darlings like Airbnb) is by introducing “meet up apps”. Boutique hotel chain The Standard launched an app that positions the brand as a social space that brings people together. Called The Lobby, the app lets guests interact with other guests in a social media networking style. The twist is that everything is deleted at checkout, which leaves no room for a digital trail.
Career and Finance
Gone are the days of staying in a company for 10 years to earn your place at the top. It seems that this generation can not sit still. Smart, educated, and with a desire to constantly learn and progress, job hopping is becoming increasingly more common, with freelancing and entrepreneurism growing.
But does this have a crippling effect on our finances? In a recent interview, Glynnis MacNicol, author of No One Tells You This: A Memoir (of singledom), shared the difficulties of growing up in a world that is financially geared towards couples.
But things have started to change, and both smart startups and established brands are capitalising on the opportunities. Ellevest, for example, was launched to be the world’s first robo-advisor designed specifically for women investors. The brand provides financial education for women and self-employed young people, demystifying complex terms and tools.
NatWest Bank also recently teamed up with Stylist Magazine to launch A Woman’s Worth Collective - a hub for women providing information about all things finance, from buying a house, to investing and all the way through to how money impacts mental health. The platform also serves as a forum where the brand conducts surveys with this audience.
Home ownership and living for this group has also been completely redefined due to a mix of societal, political and economic factors. Many members of The Single Age tribe are millennials who, we know, are still in student debts. This coupled with the skyrocketing house prices means that people think differently about home ownership and the spaces that they live in. This is why we’ve seen a spike in popularity in concepts like co-living - where dwellers in buildings share interests or similar professions, and come together for activities such as meals and discussion in the common living areas. Co-living spaces such as The Collective and WeLive can bring connection and positive relationships among singletons, it’s like university halls for grown ups (but cleaner!).
In summary, members of The Single Age are redefining all industries - from finance to hospitality and home ownership. Businesses that are quick to address this by tailoring their communications as well as creating products and services for this segment can earn the love (and wallets) of this lucrative consumer group.