Demographically, single people are more powerful than ever before, and brands should do what they can to attract, engage and build brand equity with this powerful group. The importance of consumer loyalty cannot be overstated, and singles represent a challenging but rewarding segment to go after.
Challenge: For generations, consumer products have been designed and packaged for multiple users. Family plans were once the cream of the crop, the products that got customers through the telecom doors. And for a family of four, having discounted access to multiple lines and data is great. Likewise, on a cruise line, sharing a room with a significant other brings the per-person price down. For the single? Not so much. Singles often get stuck paying more just because they are alone, but it’s easy to see why that isn’t so appealing.
Opportunity: Rethink the business model and create products, packages and pricing structures with the single consumer in mind.
Challenge: Brands aren’t speaking the single language. Brand messaging often falls flat with singles because language and value proposition aren’t resonating. Recently, celebs like Emma Watson have been bucking the trend, identifying with the latest buzzwords in singlehood, like “self-partnered.” The trend isn’t exactly new—Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City famously declared that she was getting married to herself and “registered at Manolo Blahnik.” And she had a good point. Why does the reason for a consumer to engage with your brand have to be centered around more traditional life events like a wedding shower? The answer: It doesn’t.
Opportunity: Leverage the cultural zeitgeist and incorporate “single positivity” language in brand messaging, staying cognizant of the choice consumers have made toward single culture and lifestyle.
Challenge: Don’t confuse “single” with “young.” The young and reckless mentality is not one that defines the single demographic at large. Brands often represent singles as teenagers or the bachelor/bachelorette type. The truth is that for many singles, life is not defined by going home to an empty apartment with a half-eaten slice of pizza in the fridge or still reporting to mom and dad. Moreover, the goal is not necessarily to get married and have a family. Many singles are perfectly happy in their professional and put-together lives. And while there is an emphasis on urban living, singles span all life stages, ages, cultures and backgrounds. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the singles demographic or in marketing to them.
Opportunity: Singles come in all forms. Represent them accordingly in your marketing, and don’t pigeonhole a senior or divorcee into what you assume a teenager wants to hear.
A large part of marketing to singles is simply including them in your message, product and, ultimately, brand. Give them what they want, and you’ll create a powerful brand evangelist for the long haul.