Family structures are changing. Do brands need to keep up?

JWTIntelligence introduces The Single Age, a new report exploring the shifting habits and expectations of a growing global and multi-generational cohort of single consumers; the cultural groundswell reframing single people as they really are—confident, fulfilled and empowered; and the implications for brands and marketers.

It’s clear: single people like being single. According to findings from a survey of 3,000 respondents across the US, UK and China commissioned by SONAR™,  Wunderman Thompson’s proprietary research tool, the majority of respondents—regardless of age, gender or nationality—say that they love being single, with upwards of 70% saying single is their choice. Across generations, over 50% of Americans prefer being single to being in a relationship, and the vast majority report that they sometimes, rarely or never date.

While an overwhelming 85% of American singles say they believe in love, only 43% say they need companionship to feel complete. The single shift is also adapting the traditional idea of family: 88% of American singles feel that family structures are changing from how they used to look, with 89% saying that pets are like de facto children for some people. 81% of American singles agree that in today’s world, there are more ways to build meaning or be fulfilled beyond family/relationships.

“I think the reason why we have kids is because we are ready for that,” says Young Professional Single case study Mengru Zhang. “They are one of the most important creations of your life, so I want to take it more seriously, instead of just being told that ‘at your age and at your physical condition, now it’s time to have children’—I don’t agree with that.”

In the video below, produced as part of The Innovation Group’s deep dive into The Single Age, single interviewees discuss their approaches to family and relationships—and how brands should be keeping up.

 

The report includes analysis of 18 trends across the US and Asia, 10 case studies profiling single consumers in the US, the UK and Asia, and original data commissioned by SONAR™,  Wunderman Thompson’s proprietary research tool. The survey included 1,000 US, 1,000 UK and 1,000 Chinese consumers aged 18 and older.

For full analysis, download the report here.

Video editor: Pauline den Hartog Jager

Main image courtesy of The Sill