Mix of affluent singles and couples living high-rise, fashionable lives in urban neighborhoods
Jet Set Urbanites are a collection of in-town sophisticates who are an affluent mix of singles and couples pursuing high-rise lifestyles. These residents, mostly childless individuals mainly in their 50s and 60s, have graduate degrees and high incomes from white-collar professions in business, education and science. However, they also pay plenty to live in the apartments, condos and co-ops in some of the country’s priciest city real estate, in cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Among these households, there’s an above-average presence of foreign-born people from Asian and Caribbean countries. But unlike those who live in the ethnic gateways of many big cities, Jet Set Urbanites are settled in fairly stable areas.
Jet Set Urbanites take advantage of their urban landscape. They’re performing arts fans who patronize the theater, dance performances and a range of musical concerts. They like nightlife and enjoy going to comedy clubs, movies and ethnic restaurants. These workaholics try to stay fit, by working out in home gyms and private clubs where they do aerobics, cardio machines and weights. They like to take clients and dates to sports events, particularly professional baseball and basketball games. To get away from it all, they routinely travel to foreign settings where they enjoy museums, restaurants and exclusive hotels.
As shoppers, Jet Set Urbanites are anything but shop-‘til-you-drop fashionistas. They do not patronize department stores, preferring more intimate and upscale specialty shops. Because many lack cars, they tend to buy clothes from catalogs, TV shopping networks and online Websites. They own stocks and mutual funds, but they are not yet ready to shift their investments to safer bonds or CDs for their retirement nest egg. Philanthropic and progressive, they support a range of non-profit groups and are generous with their money, especially for charities involved with health issues, the environment, the arts and public broadcasting.
Jet Set Urbanites are classic urban liberals. They’re overwhelmingly Democratic in their political affiliation, and they support a progressive social agenda. They describe themselves as risk- takers who like to sample new products and fashion, experimenting with different styles and exotic cuisines. They have enough money to indulge their tastes, and they don’t mind paying for high-quality brands. But they also care about environmental issues, and they tend to recycle, buy organic foods and look for smart green products.
Jet Set Urbanites have evolving media tastes. These educated Americans remain big fans of newspapers, particularly for the coverage of news, business, fashion and travel. They tune in to radio stations every day for news and news/talk programming. However, they are only a modest TV market, reflecting their desire to get out of their condos and apartments to sample the entertainment of the city rather than watch it on the small screen. But they do like primetime sitcoms and reality shows, and they make a strong market for premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime.
For these Americans, the Internet has become an essential tool. Besides going online for utilitarian purposes - banking, doing research for work, making travel plans - they head for Websites to read magazines, join chat forums and look up movie reviews. They now also use the Internet as another media channel to watch TV shows and listen to radio stations. While they’re a tough audience for advertising, they are moderately receptive to email ads and banners on Web pages. They appreciate the convenience and ability to comparison shop that the Internet offers.
Jet Set Urbanites is one of the wealthiest singles segments in the nation, but it stands out for consisting of singles and childless couples in their 50s and 60s living in urban settings. With their impressive educations - nearly half of household heads have a graduate degree - these professionals earn good salaries in business, science, education and the hospitality industry. There is significant diversity in the Jet Set Urbanites, including above-average concentrations of immigrants from Asian and Caribbean countries.
Most of the members of Jet Set Urbanites live in a vertical world of high-rise apartments, condominiums and offices. These wealthy singles and couples gravitate to the downtown centers of the nation’s largest metros - typically in New York and California. Their high rises were built throughout the last century, and they are evenly divided between renters and homeowners. At over $700,000, home values are near the top and are more than three times above the national average. Whether they’re renting or buying, Jet Set Urbanites pay steep prices for living among the skyscrapers. A stable segment, these established households have only average rates of mobility.
Jet Set Urbanites lead hip, urban lifestyles. Their child-free status affords them plenty of disposable cash for travel and entertainment. They attend cultural events such as live theater, movies, standup comedy shows, dance performances and concerts - whether the music is classical, Broadway show tunes or jazz. These middle-aged and older singles and couples like to stay fit, and they work out at home or go to a private club for aerobics, cardio work, lifting weights or playing tennis. To splurge, they’ll go to a professional baseball or basketball game.
Despite their high incomes, Jet Set Urbanites are not big fans of shopping. They avoid many department stores in favor of upscale retailers and boutiques. They do buy consumer electronics items like handheld devices and MP3 players, and they’re willing to spend more than $2,000 on a high-definition TV set. With most Jet Set Urbanites living in urban areas, they have low rates for owning cars. Many commute to jobs in buses, subways and taxis, and they make a strong audience for ads in public venues.
With their diverse ethnicities, Jet Set Urbanites are freewheeling travelers. Nearly nine out of ten travel to foreign destinations each year, including Europe, Mexico, South America and Australia.
They like to experience distant countries and cultures. They’re likely to visit relatives, stay with friends they have met and vacation in upscale hotels. They’re comfortable with all modes of travel - plane, boat, bus and rail.
The Jet Set Urbanites represents a mixed media market. They like to read newspapers (nearly all subscribe to the New York Times), first pouring over the sections covering business, fashion, general news and travel. They have above-average rates for subscribing to magazines, particularly science, epicurean, business and travel titles. Many keep their radios tuned to all- news stations during their treks to work. However, so many residents spend their free time out of their apartments that they’re only average consumers of TV, preferring sitcoms, reality shows and crime dramas and cable networks like MSNBC, CNN, HBO and Showtime. New media has taken hold among Jet Set Urbanites, however, and increasingly they go online to listen to music, read newspaper and magazine sites and research products and services.
Urbane and educated, Jet Set Urbanites are savvy, progressive sophisticates. “I like to travel the unbeaten path,” they say. They’re into the arts, like to try new products and describe themselves as risk-takers. They have a global sensibility, and are interested in other cultures and international events. They’re open to different kinds of people. Politically liberal, these Americans are strong supporters of the Democratic Party and progressive social values. They’re all for helping the disadvantaged; they also support social tolerance issues.
Jet Set Urbanites think it’s important to keep up their appearance and they spend a fair amount of time and money keeping fit, staying young and dressing well. They value high-quality brands and don’t mind paying more for something that will last. They tend to be early adopters in food and clothing; they experiment with new fashion and check out new foreign foods. They buy organic and spicy foods and they’re willing to splurge on gourmet cuisine. However, they don’t let their curiosity or fashion sense get in the way of their political views; they describe themselves as greens who believe in recycling, buying local and organic products whenever possible and pursuing a sustainable lifestyle. They’re proud of the smaller carbon footprint they have because they take public transit and do not own a car.
With an average income of more than $145,000, Jet Set Urbanites are considered well-off. But the segment’s income ranks one rung down from American Royalty lifestyles. Nevertheless, they’re a solid market for financial products. They’re twice as likely as average Americans to own stocks, mutual funds and money market accounts. And they tend to have over $100,000 in their diversified portfolios. They have above-average rates for owning CDs, but only average rates for carrying debit and credit cards - which they pay off monthly - and they have little interest in savings bonds or tax-sheltered annuities. They maintain cash management accounts but are only moderate users of instruments like 401(k)s and IRAs.
Jet Set Urbanites don’t care too much about playing it safe when it comes to insurance. They carry only average levels of health, property and life insurance. They’re a little more interested in whole-life policies and umbrella coverage, but not much else. Now in their peak earning and spending years, they seem less interested in saving or protecting their assets, and more interested in giving money away. These philanthropic households donate to groups involved in health, the environment, the arts, education and public broadcasting.
Jet Set Urbanites are active online users. They go online to bank, make travel plans and manage their investment portfolios, and they regularly telecommute to their offices, making use of webcams, email and business accounting software. Most of their media interests have been transferred to the Internet and that’s helped them get out from underneath the piles of newspapers and magazines that used to accumulate in their apartments; they now log on to read newspapers and magazines, check out movie reviews and monitor weather reports. For entertainment, they like to download music, listen to Internet radio stations and join chat forums. Among their favorite Websites: Facebook, Wikipedia and Netflix. Though they like to shop online, they’re only moderately receptive to email and Web page ads.