Ethnically-diverse, middle-aged singles living urban, active lifestyles
Think of them as a growing population: middle-aged singles with little interest in finding mates. In Metro Fusion, these never-married singles are mostly between the ages of 35 and 50, multicultural and multiracial. Roughly one in four are Asian, one in five are Hispanic, and nearly all are childless. These households are well educated and tend to hold mid-level jobs in a variety of fields. They typically live in apartments in port cities, but they especially congregate in California metros like San Francisco and Los Angeles. They rarely have deep roots, usually moving on after three years. In this lifestyle, “going solo” is a normal event and often considered a badge of honor.
Without children and mortgages, Metro Fusion have more discretionary income to devote to entertainment and leisure activities. They like going out to movies, comedy clubs and dance performances. They keep in shape by playing tennis and soccer, and they like working out in the gyms in their apartment buildings. They enjoy foreign travel, especially visiting China, Japan and Mexico, and they have a particular fondness for travel by train. These households often behave younger than their age would suggest; for example, they’re passionate video gamers who clutter their living rooms with the latest gaming systems.
Metro Fusion are discriminating, rather than aspirational, consumers. They like to keep up with the latest styles presented in the media and prefer stores than have a wide selection. They’re not picky about the kind of retail chain they frequent, and they have high rates for going everywhere from Walmart to Nordstrom. They also look for the latest consumer gadgets and enjoy going to Radio Shack to release their inner geek. They often use the Internet to research products, but hold off on buying anything until they see the product in a store. These touchy- feely shoppers regularly make impulse buys.
Metro Fusion are usually too busy to stay home at night watching TV. They’re a better audience for radio, tuning in to a wide variety of stations, including those that play salsa, rhythm and blues and ’80s pop rock. They’re most passionate about magazines, reading many at rates far above the national average. With the high percentage of foreign-born in this segment, ethnic media is popular; the Hispanic households in this segment keep up with Latin news and culture. However, this is a relatively well-assimilated segment; Metro Fusion like American news and music. When it comes to marketing, most of the members are fine with English-language advertisements.
As for the messages that move Metro Fusion, marketers should recognize that they’re progressive, social and hard-working. They think of themselves as upwardly mobile and want to reach the top of their careers. They’re open to many cultures and appreciate the diversity they provide their local communities. While they’re only moderately involved in politics, they do volunteer for civic groups and they’re willing to get involved in environmental causes, both donors and activists.
Metro Fusion are middle-aged singles from varied backgrounds who find themselves living in city apartments. While their work friends go home to suburban houses, they head to mid-scale apartments where the lifestyles are multicultural, multiracial and more transient. About 40 percent of households are either Asian or Hispanic. Three-quarters are unmarried and nearly all are childless. An educated segment, where almost 60 percent have gone to college, many now work at mid-level jobs in service-sector and white-collar professions such as food services, business, communications and construction.
Metro Fusion tend to gravitate to port cities where immigrants have traditionally settled. With nearly a quarter born in Asia, it’s not surprising that a high percentage is found in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu. Although home and condo values in their communities aren’t outrageous, these unattached residents prefer affordable rentals in garden apartments and duplexes located within an easy commute to downtown jobs. They’re comfortable in their low- rise units typically built between 1960 and 1990, but that doesn’t always last long: half of all households have lived at the same residence for fewer than three years.
After long hours on the job, Metro Fusion enjoy the nightlife in their communities. They go to movies, dance performances, pop concerts and comedy clubs. They like to stay fit, play tennis and soccer and workout in their apartment buildings by lifting weights, using rowing machines and taking aerobics classes. To wind down, they read books, listen to audio books, play a musical instrument and occupy themselves with video games. In fact, they play virtually every gaming system available at rates three to four times the national average.
Metro Fusion are discriminating consumers. They like to read fashion magazines and watch the Style cable channel for shopping ideas. They shop at a wide range of stores - from Walmart to Costco to Gap to Nordstrom - and they factor in price, brand and selection when deciding where to buy. They’re early adopters of consumer electronics and make a strong market for MP3 players, flat-panel TVs, DVD players and camcorders. These are the elusive shoppers who may use the Internet to help plan their shopping trip but then buy something on the spur of the moment. As they say, “I really enjoy any kind of shopping”.
In this segment of busy professionals, Metro Fusion rates as a mixed media market. They rarely subscribe to newspapers and they’re only modestly interested in most TV programs. But they’re big music fans and listen to the radio every day, tuning in stations that play reggae, Mexican music, alternative rock and rhythm and blues. They’re nearly twice as likely as average Americans to read magazines, calling them their main source of entertainment. They read everything from Architectural Digest and Bon Appétit to Travel & Leisure and Us Weekly, but many now go online for their news and entertainment.
Although many Metro Fusion say they don’t like advertising, marketers can take heart that they often notice ads on buses and in movie theaters, and they say that they remember advertised products when shopping. While the Hispanic households tend to speak Spanish in their homes, they don’t necessarily think that businesses and government agencies need to communicate with them in Spanish.
Metro Fusion describe themselves as creative, sociable and outspoken. That makes sense in a segment that’s filled with people from other cultures and countries. They say that they have many acquaintances from different walks of life and that meeting new people comes easily to them. They are not afraid to appear unconventional. Indeed, this segment says, “conformity makes me uncomfortable”.
That progressive outlook extends to their politics. Although they’re not actively involved in politics - not often registered members of any political party - they do describe themselves as “very liberal”. They believe in equality for all, recycling at home and self-expression. Many have a strong social conscience, interested in being involved in their communities and volunteering their time for a good cause. Despite their modest financial profile, they’re still willing to donate money to environmental groups and public radio.
Many households in this segment state that they’re happy with their lives. However, they’re still striving for improvement and hoping for respect from their peers. These entrepreneurial types talk of starting their own businesses and reaching the top of their careers. Having traveled far to make it in the U.S., Metro Fusion admit that they enjoy taking risks.
Metro Fusion represent only a moderate financial market. With their mid-scale incomes and distrust of banks, these multi-ethnic singles accumulate few investments for retirement other than some mutual funds and money market accounts. They typically ignore most banking services other than ATMs, debit cards and non-interest checking accounts. However, they do carry credit and department store charge cards - as much as the average - and use them more than average, exhibiting a particular fondness for American Express prestige brands. However, they have only a mixed record of paying off their balances each month. Their insurance preferences are limited to low levels of health and life insurance.
Metro Fusion are enthusiastic users of the Internet for communication, information and fun. They spend a lot of time online chatting with friends via instant messaging and social networks, or connecting with them by sharing music files or playing games. The Internet is often the first place they go when they want to find a new job, car, computer or webcam. They head to media Websites daily to get the latest cultural news (movies, radio) or sports scores (basketball, tennis, golf). Among their favorite Websites are dating forums such as okcupid.com, chemistry.com and meetup.com. Although many are reluctant to buy products online, they like to research them at Websites before making a purchase, and these Internet surfers are receptive to online advertising - whether through email messages or sponsored Websites.