Younger, upwardly-mobile singles living in mid-scale metro areas leading leisure-intensive lifestyles
Status Seeking Singles consist of younger, middle-class singles preoccupied with balancing work and leisure-intensive lifestyles. Most are in their 30s and 40s, unattached and childless; they like the fact that they own well-decorated condos and homes in desirable neighborhoods near nightlife, health clubs and hip restaurants. Most are college-educated and have good, white-collar jobs that let them fill their garages with sporty cars and plenty of sports equipment. Many gravitate to the trendy enclaves of cities like Austin, Texas, and Newport Beach, Calif., where upwardly mobile Americans start climbing the corporate ladder.
Still in the meet market, members of Status Seeking Singles like to get out and be seen. Bars, nightclubs, theaters and comedy clubs - all are popular destinations for these night crawlers. This is the audience for that indie, foreign film that’s getting raves from bloggers. However, they also take pride in their appearance and devote many hours each week to working out at the local health club or tennis court. The hippest carry rolled-up rubber mats to work, and duck out at lunch for a yoga class.
Status Seeking Singles can afford their cushy lifestyles, and they spend selectively on goods that reflect their yuppie status. They’re not big fans of shopping, but when they go to the mall they usually head to upscale retailers like Nordstrom or fancy local boutiques. They’re willing to pay the mark up for designer fashion and insist on carrying the latest cell phone and MP3 technology when they’re out and about. Their cars are typically sedans, CUVs or sports cars, and they prefer a luxury import from BMW that shines with status.
Status Seeking Singles tend to be progressive in their values and global in their outlook. However, they’re often too busy to spend the time reading traditional newspapers or magazines other than specialized titles that cover entertainment, food and business. They’ll tune in to primetime TV but shut out the ads. On their daily commutes to work, they’ll listen to news talk radio stations and adult contemporary music. They prefer the Internet, going online daily to social networking sites, blogs and sites that offer news, sports and commentary. They regard the Internet as a center for videos, music and dating, and they log long hours tracking down the latest viral clip or listening to a radio station. Often, their work life and personal life blur when they’re online.
Politically, Status Seeking Singles voters are hardcore liberals who favor environmental issues, progressive social issues and the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. They’ll also join a protest if they think the issue is worth the time. These aren’t the perennial marchers, however; they prefer entertaining their large circle of friends at their home and supporting a cause by donating money.
Status Seeking Singles are a collection of young, upwardly mobile singles living in comfortable homes and condos. Mostly between the ages of 30 and 45, these unattached Americans are predominantly white with an above-average presence of Asians. A majority have college degrees and many have advanced degrees. Although many are still early in their careers, they already have white-collar jobs in technology, education, business and public administration. With 80 percent of the households filled with childless singles, their mid-scale incomes go far.
Status Seeking Singles tend to live in yuppie enclaves in downtown and inner-ring suburban areas. A disproportionate number live in big cities out west, but they’re scattered in transient areas in places like Austin, Texas, Plainsboro, N.J., Aspen, Colo., and Newport Beach, Calif. They typically own relatively new homes and condos valued close to the national average, at $243,000. However, they’re far from settled in their well-appointed digs. A majority have lived at the same address for fewer than three years.
Status Seeking Singles like the nightlife. Almost every night, they can be found gathering at restaurant bars, nightclubs, theaters or cinemas. They like to dine out, going to new, upscale and trendy restaurants as well as casual eateries like TGI Friday’s, The Cheesecake Factory and Romano's Macaroni Grill. Date nights might involve tickets to an event, comedy club or rock concert.
For these unattached men and women, their weekends often involve playing club sports like tennis and racquetball. After work, they head to the health club - they belong to these at over twice the rate of the general population - where they jog, bike, lift weights and work out on the cardio machines. Yoga helps them unwind from the stresses of their busy social and work lives. They are big travelers, preferring traveling to locations in North and South American, Caribbean and all over Europe.
Status Seeking Singles describe themselves as reluctant shoppers. They’re too busy to clip coupons, too impatient for catalog deliveries and too upscale for big-box discounters, which they regard as déclassé. Many prefer higher-end mall stores with their solicitous customer service to the mainstream chains - Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Saks are some of their favorite retailers - but they will also shop at Sports Authority, Old Navy and Hallmark. Of course, high-priced electronics are a must with this segment, whether it’s the latest cell phone, laptop or MP3 player. They also favor classic styles with designer labels that make a statement. When they buy a car, they may check out the safety rating, but they typically end up buying a luxury import sedan or sports car that expresses their status.
Given their active lifestyles, Status Seeking Singles have relatively little interest in traditional media. They don’t read newspapers and subscribe to only a handful of magazines - titles such as Business Week, Entertainment Weekly and Food & Wine. They make a respectable radio audience, tuning in stations that play adult contemporary, jazz and album-oriented rock. Many describe TV as their main source of entertainment and information. However, they actively avoid watching TV commercials. They make a more receptive audience for outdoor advertising. They’re more than twice as likely as average Americans to notice the ads in airports, subways and taxis. To them, billboards look like enormous paintings.
The educated members of Status Seeking Singles are well-informed about the world and optimistic about their prospects. They work hard and want to climb to the top of their field. They try to have a healthy lifestyle through exercising regularly and buying organic food, but they’re not purists and sometimes give in to fattening foods and frozen dinners. They do take responsibility for staying healthy: with the first ache, they head right to their browser to look up medical information.
Politically, Status Seeking Singles are as progressive as their electronic gadgets. They see themselves as belonging to the global village and support equal rights, progressive social issues and efforts to reduce air pollution. They’re more than twice as likely as the general population to describe themselves as liberal, and the greatest proportion align themselves with the Democratic Party. They’re even more to the left than most party stalwarts, however.
Status Seeking Singles make friends easily and typically serve as organizers for group activities. Many have a well-formed social conscience, but they aren't active in their church or synagogue. Instead, they prefer to donate money to a variety of causes: arts, education, social services and public radio. Befitting their global awareness, most in this segment think that imported products - food, electronics, cars - are better and more desirable than anything made domestically.
With their mid-scale incomes and single status, Status Seeking Singles have sizable wallets filled with disposable cash. Although they feel financially secure, they have yet to start building up substantial savings in their IRAs and 401(k)s. Most of the securities they own consist of mutual funds and company stock, but their balances are relatively low. They like paying for routine expenses with plastic, exhibiting high use of debit and credit cards - particularly gold and platinum cards. But they’re very adept at juggling the cards and usually manage to pay them off each month.
These younger households are average owners of insurance, and are more interested than many Americans in health insurance. Because many already carry mortgages, they also buy life insurance at decent rates, particularly from work or group plans. These educated Americans think they’re adept money managers and enjoy doing their own investing.
Status Seeking Singles are active players in the digital world, and they love being the first among their friends to find new and interesting Websites. They like social media sites and use instant messaging to connect with friends. They spend a lot of time online getting news and information, reading blogs and commentary sites, searching for jobs and cars, getting sports scores and weather reports and reading the latest movie reviews. They visit sites covering sports, news and media, entertainment and online gaming. They are responsive to Internet advertising. The Web is also their chief form of entertainment, and they spend their evenings and weekends going online to watch videos, download podcasts and listen to Internet-only radio. They confess that they’re getting less sleep because of their digital adventures.