“The number of single people in America is growing at more than twice the rate of those who are wed, and if that trend continues, single adults will soon account for a larger share of the U.S. population than married couples for the first time on record, according to CNN.”
The number of new marriages in the United States declined 5% in 2011 alone.
If that doesn’t change the dynamic of society and the landscape for us marketers, I don’t know much else that will. The changes that this will bring in terms of food, clothing and shelter purchases as well as recreational purchases will be profound.
For example, since single people tend to stay up later, maybe we will need to open later and close later. Maybe we will need to add more “21 to 34” entertainment options (i.e.) cooler bars, more “grazing” food, more “craft” beers, more party atmosphere. Or more of a Starbucks atmosphere. Or more connectivity during the day time hours, as a great place to meet people, especially for those who work at home and sometimes want to be around people.
As a bowling proprietor, you will need to really redefine what family entertainment means to a new generation of people who have not yet formed THEIR family, but are still part of their EXISTING family, even if they are older children; perhaps even living at home again like 29% of all 25 to 34 yr olds are doing these days.
It hasn’t been a “Fathers Knows Best” family image out there for a long time, but soon this image will be a vague remembrance of bygone times and old wines.
Maybe we need to examine more closely this “new” family unit and how its members define themselves. “Brothers or sisters or cousins? There is an old song by Sister Sledge. The lyrics go something like this: ‘”we are family. I got all my sisters with me”.
There are other references to family in the movies, “Band of Brothers” and TV shows, “Brothers and Sisters” so it seems that as a culture we value the word family but are redefining it differently than before.
Just ask a single Mom or Dad with one or two kids if they are “family?” Or ask two single Moms who have moved in together with their children if they are family? Or ask two Gay or Lesbian people if they are family; some even with children?
The answer will always be a resounding YES.
What programs do you have for these nontraditional Moms or Dads? Or groups of friends that are so close that they refer to each other as brother or sister? And it’s just not an ethnic thing. It’s an American thing.
So the lesson is; we need to learn how to do business with these new demographic “family units” or go home and watch reruns of “Ozzie and Harriet.”