Changing dynamics: Brands seeking out urban singles

India is fast catching up with the global trend wherein urban singles are considered to be the preferred customer segment for premium and innovation driven brands.

A recent Nielsen Insight report suggests that these super consumers have the potential to shape the future of Indian markets given their spending power as well the penchant for being first movers. ‘Urban singles’ are defined as Indians aged between 28 and 45 years, living alone in an urban location, and includes people who are unmarried, separated, divorced, single parent with kids or in long distance marriage having monthly earnings of more than Rs 50,000. This consumer profile accounts for close to 7 million people.

This consumer segment, according to Nielsen Insight, has emerged as a trial market for companies keen to test revolutionary designs and ideas which simplify lives while simultaneously helping consumers reflect their personalities.

“Globally urban singles are considered to be the preferred customer segment for premium and innovation driven brands. In India, being single is still considered to have negative undertones — often linked to depression, unhappiness and loneliness. However, our findings on the segment present a contrarian picture of a section comprising educated, focused, hardworking and ambitious people,” said Arjun Urs, executive director, Nielsen South Asia.
“This segment is not only fast emerging to be super consumers, but also influencers and early adopters to revolutionary products and ideas. These are global citizens having global views and preferences,” Urs said.

If the latest Nielsen Insight study is anything to go by, upwardly mobile urban youngsters are fast changing priorities from relationships to education and career, leading to the rise of one-person households. The proliferation of technology, easy connectivity among friends and a wider array of entertainment options also contribute to this lifestyle. Priorities have also evolved, and urbanites are no longer as keen on a work-life balance as they were a decade or so ago. Now, one in every two urbanites wants a job that motivates them to work harder every day even if it means spending long hours over it.

“Wealthy, single urbanites within the age bracket of 28 and 30 years are more traditional than their older counterparts. They largely continue to prioritise marriage over career and desire a work-life balance. On the other hand, wealthy single urbanites over the age of 30 place career and money matters on the top of their priority list. Gender differences are gradually fading among wealthy single urbanites. More men have now started shopping for clothes online, while a lot more women are travelling or indulging in adventure sports. Interestingly, the average wealthy single urbanite spends 20 hours a week on smartphones with male users being marginally more engaged than females,” said the Nielsen Insight report.

Interestingly, the average monthly income of wealthy, single urbanites is between Rs 65,000 and Rs 70,000, while their average disposable income ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000. More interestingly, these consumers use nearly 35 per cent of their monthly income for savings and food. The report seeks to explore broad behavioural insights relating to consumption, lifestyle, food habits, spending, housing, hobbies, travel, gadgets, appliances, food and health segments, among others. The report was compiled through a survey conducted across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore with a sample size of 700 people.

Ritwik Mukherjee