Young, mid-scale singles and couples living socially-active city lives
Wired for Success are young singles, couples and divorced individuals who have landed their first job. It’s composed of relatively young households - a majority between 25 and 45 years old - living in rental apartments. Segment members tend to be college educated and childless and hold well-paying jobs in sales and the service sector. Many of these households live in relatively new apartments or homes valued at more than the national average - a sure sign of upward mobility. With many considering their current lifestyle only a stepping stone on their way to better housing and career advancement, some two-thirds of these mobile Americans have lived at the same residence for fewer than three years.
Wired for Success know how to have a good time. With most adults unattached, they like to go to meet markets like bars, nightclubs and rock concerts. They travel often to beaches and islands, taking cruises and flying to resorts where they can swim and water ski. They work at creating hard bodies by doing cardio workouts at health clubs and joining weekend teams that play baseball and football. When they finally put their feet up, they like to read books, cook gourmet meals and listen to a wide range of music - from alternative to reggae to hip hop.
Without children, these households have plenty of discretionary income to spend on the latest fashions and consumer electronics - and spend they do. Fans of conspicuous consumption, they like to buy designer fashion at department stores such as Nordstrom and Macy’s. They look for new product ideas in magazines and on the Internet. These are the Americans who plan their shopping trips online before making a purchase.
Wired for Success make a mixed segment for media. They like reading special-interest magazines that cover, for instance, cooking and cars. They’re relatively light radio consumers, especially during drive-time periods, because apartments are typically located near their jobs or within a short commute via public transportation. Because they often go out at night for dinner and entertainment, they’re not around to watch much primetime TV programming, though they do watch late-night TV - comedy shows along with sitcoms, newscasts and sports. Mostly, they’re fond of digital media. They go online through their cell phones and laptops for all manner of activities: getting news, banking, downloading music and connecting with other singles. The only popular web-surfing activity they don’t do is visit car shopping sites, because many don’t see the need for a car in their urban jungle.
Befitting a young, urban populace, this segment is progressive in their politics and liberal in their social ideals. Wired for Success are tolerant of people from other countries and those who pursue alternative lifestyles. Hardcore Democrats, they’re concerned about the environment, advocating recycling and demanding that companies act ethically. These Americans were the first to add their names to marketing do-not-call lists. In fact, the only time they are accessible to advertisers is when they can’t escape them: at a bus shelter or train platform.
Forget the traditional American dream of home and family. Wired for Success households are filled with mostly youngish singles, couples and divorced individuals living in apartment rentals. Many of these households are under 45 years old, well-educated - three-quarters of household heads have been to college - and earn decent salaries in sales and service-sector industries. Predominantly white with an above-average presence of Asians, these mostly childless households are busy trying to balance work and leisure activities. If they’re married - as a third of them are - both spouses are typically working to provide comfortable incomes and upward mobility.
Typically priced out of home ownership, about eighty percent of Wired for Success households rent apartments. Their buildings tend to be relatively new and usually large; a majority has more than ten units. They’re found across the country, though mostly out West, in small cities known for their tech jobs and leisure-intensive lifestyles - places like Austin, Texas, and Snowmass, Colo. Houses are expensive here, averaging more than $280,000, which partly explains the high concentration of renters. In these highly mobile neighborhoods, two-thirds have lived at the same address for fewer than three years.
Wired for Success have energetic lifestyles. They travel frequently for business and pleasure, taking singles’ cruises and flying to beachside singles resorts in the Caribbean. They’re night owls who enjoy city amenities like movies, theaters, comedy clubs and rock concerts. With many still in the dating scene, they patronize bars, nightclubs and casual restaurants such as Chili’s and TGI Friday’s. In their apartments, they like to listen to music, read books, cook and do art projects.
But these young people aren’t often in their apartments. They’re out jogging, lifting weights, doing aerobics and working out on cardio machines at health clubs. On weekends, they play pick-up games of tennis, baseball and football. They also like to splurge on resort vacations that offer activities like water skiing, downhill skiing and sailing.
These Americans find joy in consumption and admit a need for status recognition. They like to keep up with the latest fashions, and they like their clothes to make a statement. At the mall, they shop at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s and the Gap. They’ll often go online before heading to an electronics store to be better informed about prospective purchases. These mobile households make a strong target for houseware chains, especially upscale retailers such as Williams-Sonoma and Crate and Barrel.
As a media market, Wired for Success make a mixed segment. They’re a weak drive-time radio audience and they’re also too busy to watch much TV other than late-night and early-morning programming. When they get a chance, they like to watch “The Office,” “48 Hours Mystery” and “Desperate Housewives”. They’re only average consumers of print media, though they do like magazines such as Car and Driver, Food & Wine and Glamour. For this segment, the only media that really matters is digital.
For marketers, trying to connect with this segment is tough. Wired for Success have a low opinion of most advertising and take measures to protect their privacy. Because many spend their free time away from home, they’re more receptive to ads in public places, paying attention to movie theater spots and the ads on bus shelters, subway platforms and airport terminals.
Busy, thoughtful and involved, Wired for Success are too preoccupied to be disaffected youth. They like learning new things, are open-minded about other cultures and support equality for all. They’ve established a close circle of friends and are tolerant of others with alternative lifestyles. Politically, this is a progressive segment where adults identify themselves as liberal Democrats. In their activist neighborhoods, they worry about the environment, avoid cosmetics that have been tested on animals and think companies should act ethically.
Wired for Success are early adopters, whether the subject is ideology or consumerism. They have a keen sense of adventure and like to be challenged physically and intellectually. They’re foodies who patronize the latest ethnic and gourmet restaurants. They’re interested in the art and nature, and they’re not afraid to appear unconventional.
Wired for Success make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. They like to exercise regularly and play sports at least once a week. They work at eating a balanced diet, and many count calories. They actively seek out medical information about nutrition and diet and typically read the small print in ads for medicines. They also get advice from friends about any health ailments. Comfortable with the Internet, they will even register personal information on health Websites.
Unattached and childless, their mid-scale incomes of nearly $66,000 go far. However, they’re just starting to get established in the financial world, and they’ve accumulated only modest income-producing assets. Despite owning a 401(k) account, they own few stocks, mutual funds or annuities. Most of their investments fall into the category of safe CDs, money market accounts and some company securities. They carry debit, credit and retail charge cards, usually paying off their balance each month. Despite their mid-range incomes, many have borrowed to maintain their lifestyle, and they often have large outstanding balances on educational, auto and personal loans. With no dependents and a youthful sense of invincibility, these households generally do not carry life or health insurance.
Wired for Success are among the top Internet users, and it’s hard to find a digital activity that they don’t enjoy. Compared to the national average, they’re twice as likely to blog, listen to radio stations, read magazines and watch videos online. They’ve also adopted the Internet for a lot of their commerce, going online to bank, shop, participate in auctions and make travel plans. They’re fond of lifestyle Websites that focus on New Age, environmental, political and women’s issues. They visit a variety of entertainment, financial and social media sites, including fool.com, people.com, mtv.com, myspace.com and twitter.com. These young people admit that they spend less time sleeping these days because of all of their Internet activities.
Wired for Success are also on the cutting edge of using applications to enhance their online experience. As music fans, they frequently use applications like Gnutella and iTunes. They also came of age when the Internet had evolved into a center for online dating, and there are few segments where social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace are more popular.