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Marketing to Singles - UK - April 2011

Consumer behaviour can be complicated and bewildering. What makes people think, feel and reason in a certain way? How do they choose between different product alternatives (eg brands, products and retailers) and equally what influences their purchase decisions (eg culture, family, media)?

Identifying an individual’s personality type makes it easier to understand the underlying behavioural patterns of that individual. Even though a person may behave differently depending on situations, personality is regarded as relatively stable. Personality traits and characteristics have a strong influence on behaviour.

  • Understand shifts in attitudes towards being single: Fewer people are getting married and singles are predicted to outnumber those who are married in the next couple of decades. Singles are increasingly a consumer force to be reckoned with. The stigma associated with being single has virtually disappeared and more singles are perfectly content with their dating status. Understanding the everyday habits and opinions of this growing consumer group is paramount.
  • Explore budgeting habits: Do they have a strict budget, or (with no partner to account to) do they spend money without thinking? Who is more influenced by lower prices and discounts? What role does affluence play in people’s willingness to pay more for higher quality products?
  • Navigate spending priorities: How do consumers spend their left-over income after paying off their bills? Who is more likely to spend on indulging themselves and who would rather put the extra money away for a rainy day? How does everyday stress factor in the spending priorities?
  • Understand lifestyle and attitudes towards being single: How happy are singles with their dating status? What are the pros and cons of being single? What impact does happiness with being single have on their lifestyle and attitudes?
  • Plans for the next two years: What are their priorities for the next couple of years, and which goals do they think they will actually be able to achieve?
  • Effectively target: Mintel has identified three typologies that are distinct by their dating/relationship status, and show significant demographic differences, particularly in terms of age and income.

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Table of contents

  1. Definitions and Methodology

      • Definitions
          • Figure 1: Typologies overview, February 2011
        • Married or cohabiting
          • Not on the dating scene
            • On the dating scene
              • Methodology
              • Executive Summary

                  • Broader market environment
                    • Figure 2: General marriage rate (GMR)* in England and Wales, 1979-2009
                  • Budgeting habits and attitudes
                    • Figure 3: Budgeting habits, by affluence, February 2011
                  • Stress level
                    • Figure 4: Perceived level of stress, by gender and dating status, February 2011
                  • Lifestyle
                    • Figure 5: Dating status, by agreement with lifestyle statements February 2011
                  • Future priorities
                    • Online destinations
                      • Figure 6: Online sources visited at least weekly, by typologies, February 2011
                    • Targeted Segmentation: Miss Independent & The Happy Bachelor
                      • Miss Independent
                        • Figure 7: Miss Independent – what extra money is spent on, February 2011
                      • The Happy Bachelor
                        • Figure 8: The Happy Bachelor – what extra money is spent on, February 2011
                      • Conclusion
                      • Future Opportunities

                        • Trend: The Power of One
                          • Trend: A growing number of happily single women
                            • Trend: Put Off Getting Married
                              • Broader market environment
                                • Trends in marriage rates
                                  • Figure 9: Number of marriages in England and Wales, 1889-2009
                                  • Figure 10: General marriage rate (GMR)* in England and Wales, 1979-2009
                                • Relationships trends and demographics
                                  • Figure 11: Those who believe it’s important to have a lasting relationship with one partner, by gender and age group, 2006 and 2010
                                  • Figure 12: Trends in marital status, 2001, 2005 and 2010
                                  • Figure 13: Number of divorces in England and Wales, 1929-2009
                                  • Figure 14: Number of divorces by age at divorce in England and Wales, 2009
                                  • Figure 15: Trends in marital status, by gender, 2001, 2005 and 2010
                                  • Figure 16: Trends in marital status, by socio-economic group, 2001, 2005 and 2010
                              • Dating Typologies

                                • Relationship status overview
                                  • Figure 17: Relationship status, February 2010
                                  • Figure 18: Relationship status, by gender, February 2011
                                  • Figure 19: Dating and relationship status, February 2010
                                • Typologies – Demographic overview
                                  • Figure 20: Dating status, by age, February 2011
                                  • Figure 21: Gender distribution, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 22: Current housing situation, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 23: Family composition, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 24: TV service provider, by dating status, February 2011
                              • Financial Situation and Outlook

                                • Settled couples weather the downturn better
                                  • Figure 25: Current financial situation, by dating status, February 2010
                                  • Figure 26: Current financial situation, by age of singles, February 2011
                                • Men are less affected
                                  • Figure 27: Current financial situation, by gender of singles, February 2011
                                • Daters are just getting by
                                  • Figure 28: Current financial situation, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 29: Impact of economy on financial situation, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 30: Impact of economy on financial situation, by age of singles, February 2011
                                  • Figure 31: Impact of economy on financial situation, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Financial outlook is generally positive
                                  • Figure 32: Impact of economy on financial situation, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Single women are more pessimistic…
                                  • Figure 33: Impact of economy on financial situation, by gender of singles, February 2011
                                • …while youngest and oldest singles are optimistic
                                  • Figure 34: Financial outlook, by age of singles, February 2011
                                  • Figure 35: Financial outlook, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Settled couples suffer more during recession
                                  • Figure 36: Current financial events and attitudes, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Financial priorities: past and future
                                  • Figure 37: Financial priorities over the past year, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 38: Financial priorities over the coming year, by dating status, February 2011
                              • Budgeting Habits

                                • Majority of consumers budget
                                  • Figure 39: Budgeting habits, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Single men spend less than their budgets, but single women track their spending
                                  • Figure 40: Budgeting habits, by gender of singles, February 2011
                                • Singles aged 35-44 budget strictly
                                  • Figure 41: Budgeting habits, by age of singles, February 2011
                                  • Figure 42: Budgeting habits, by dating status, February 2011
                                  • Figure 43: Budgeting habits, by affluence, February 2011
                                • Frugality is still in vogue
                                  • Figure 44: Net agreement with statements about shopping, February 2011
                                • Affluent singles love a good bargain
                                  • Figure 45: Net agreement with shopping attitudes, by typologies, February 2011
                                • Price versus quality: the eternal dilemma
                                  • Figure 46: Quality of products purchased, by typologies, February 2011
                                  • Figure 47: Quality of products purchased, by typologies, February 2011
                                • Daters are smart spenders
                                  • Figure 48: Ways to make money go further, by dating status, February 2011
                                • Established couples spend extras on their close ones…
                                  • Figure 49: Where extra money is spent, by dating status, February 2011
                                • …while singles treat themselves
                                • Who is Stressed?

                                    • Cohabiting couples are the most stressed out
                                      • Figure 50: Perceived level of stress, February 2011
                                      • Figure 51: Perceived level of stress, by dating status, February 2011
                                    • Men fare better in relationships
                                      • Figure 52: Perceived level of stress, by gender and dating status, February 2011
                                    • Younger singles under more pressure
                                      • Figure 53: Level of stress, by age of singles, February 2011
                                    • Ways to relieve anxiety
                                      • Figure 54: Where extra money is spent, by typologies, February 2011
                                  • Lifestyle of Dating Typologies

                                    • Singles do as they please
                                      • Figure 55: Lifestyle statements, by dating status and gender, February 2011
                                    • Couples living together compromise
                                      • Social activity varies with age of singles
                                        • Figure 56: Lifestyle attitudes, by age of singles, February 2011
                                      • Daters try to look their best
                                        • Figure 57: Net agreement with lifestyle attitudes, by dating status, February 2011
                                      • Fashion-conscious daters
                                        • Figure 58: Clothing brands owned, by dating status, February 2011
                                    • Happily Single?

                                      • Men are not happy being single
                                        • Figure 59: Attitudes towards being single, February 2011
                                        • Figure 60: Attitudes towards being single, by gender, February 2011
                                        • Figure 61: Satisfaction with being single, by age, February 2011
                                      • Most non-daters are unhappy being single
                                        • Figure 62: Satisfaction with being single and dating status, February 2011
                                      • Non-daters: Satisfied versus WLTM
                                        • Figure 63: Demographics of the non-dater typologies, February 2011
                                    • (Dis) Advantages of Being Single

                                      • Younger singles appreciate socializing…
                                        • Figure 64: Advantages and disadvantages of being single, by age, February 2011
                                      • … while older singles appreciate their freedom
                                        • Single women’s lives have fewer complications…
                                          • Figure 65: Advantages and disadvantages of being single, by gender, February 2011
                                        • ...but single women are more financially strained
                                          • Household chores should be shared
                                            • Figure 66: Agreement that men and women should share household responsibilities equally, by gender and age group, 2010
                                          • Dissatisfied singles are more outgoing, but less secure
                                            • Figure 67: Advantages and disadvantages of being single, by dating status and satisfaction, February 2011
                                          • Freedom-loving singles are happiest
                                            • Figure 68: Satisfaction with being single, by singles’ attitudes, February 2011
                                          • Insecure singles are desperately seeking a partner…
                                            • Figure 69: Satisfaction with being single, by singles’ attitudes, February 2011
                                          • ...and are more stressed out
                                            • Figure 70: Level of stress, by attitudes towards being single, February 2011
                                        • Life’s Priorities

                                          • Finances at the forefront
                                            • Figure 71: Priorities for the next couple of years, February 2011
                                          • Intent and reality diverge
                                            • Daters are more keen on saving
                                              • Figure 72: Want to do – Priorities for the next two years, by dating status, February 2011
                                            • Settled couples think home improvement…
                                              • ...and follow through on their intentions
                                                • Figure 73: Will do – Priorities for the next two years, by dating status, February 2011
                                              • Youngest singles have diverse goals
                                                • Figure 74: Want to do – Priorities for the next two years, by age of singles, February 2011
                                              • Older singles go on more holidays
                                                • Single women have a well-rounded set of goals
                                                  • Figure 75: Want to do – Priorities for the next two years, by dating status and gender, February 2011
                                                • Marrieds are paying off debt
                                                  • Financially squeezed singles more likely to save
                                                    • Figure 76: Want to do – Priorities for the next two years, by singles’ attitudes, February 2011
                                                • Online Destinations for Singles

                                                    • Figure 77: Ways to access internet, by dating status, February 2011
                                                    • Figure 78: Online sources visited at least weekly, by dating status, February 2011
                                                    • Figure 79: Top five social networking sites, visited at least weekly, by dating status, February 2011
                                                  • Youngest singles can’t live without the internet
                                                    • Figure 80: Online sources, visited at least weekly, by age of singles, February 2011
                                                  • Single men are internet junkies
                                                    • Figure 81: Online sources used, visited at least weekly, by gender of singles, February 2011
                                                • Targeted Segmentation: Miss Independent & The Happy Bachelor

                                                    • Miss Independent
                                                      • Demographic profile
                                                        • Figure 82: Miss Independent – Demographics, February 2011
                                                      • Financial situation
                                                        • Figure 83: Miss Independent – Current financial situation, February 2011
                                                        • Figure 84: Miss Independent – Impact of economy, February 2011
                                                        • Figure 85: Miss Independent – Future outlook, February 2011
                                                      • Retail therapy
                                                        • Figure 86: Miss Independent – Grocery stores shopped at, February 2011
                                                        • Figure 87: Miss Independent – Clothing stores shopped at, February 2011
                                                      • Save to splurge
                                                        • Figure 88: Miss Independent – What extra money is spent on, February 2011
                                                        • Figure 89: Miss independent – Extra money spending ranking, February 2011
                                                      • Happy on her own
                                                        • Figure 90: Miss Independent – Advantages and disadvantages of being single, February 2011
                                                      • Lifestyle
                                                        • Figure 91: Miss Independent – Net agreement with lifestyle statements, February 2011
                                                      • The Happy Bachelor
                                                        • Demographic profile
                                                          • Figure 92: The Happy Bachelor – Demographics, February 2011
                                                        • Financial situation
                                                          • Figure 93: The Happy Bachelor – Current financial situation, February 2011
                                                          • Figure 94: The Happy Bachelor – Impact of economy of financial situation, February 2011
                                                          • Figure 95: The Happy Bachelor – Future outlook, February 2011
                                                        • Retail therapy
                                                          • Figure 96: The Happy Bachelor – Grocery stores shopped at, February 2011
                                                          • Figure 97: The Happy Bachelor – Clothing labels owned, February 2011
                                                        • Spend to indulge
                                                          • Figure 98: The Happy Bachelor – What extra money is spent on, February 2011
                                                          • Figure 99: The Happy Bachelor – Extra money spending ranking, February 2011
                                                        • Live to be free
                                                          • Figure 100: The Happy Bachelor – Disadvantages of being single, February 2011
                                                        • Lifestyle
                                                          • Figure 101: The Happy Bachelor – Net agreement with lifestyle statements, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Trends in Marital Status

                                                          • Figure 102: Trends in marital status, by age, 2001, 2005 and 2010
                                                          • Figure 103: Trends in marital status, by presence of own children, 2001, 2005 and 2010
                                                          • Figure 104: Trends in single-parent households, by gender, 2004, 2005 and 2010
                                                      • Appendix – Typologies Demographics

                                                          • Figure 105: Relationship status, by demographics, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Typologies Lifestyles

                                                          • Figure 106: Lifestyle and leisure habits, by dating status, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Demographics of the Satisfied Singles

                                                          • Figure 107: Demographics, by satisfaction with being single, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Stressed vs Not Stressed Demographics

                                                          • Figure 108: Demographics of people with different stress levels, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Typologies Budgeting Habits

                                                          • Figure 109: Budgeting behaviour, by dating status, February 2011
                                                      • Appendix – Typologies Purchasing Behaviour

                                                          • Figure 110: Statements about purchasing behaviours, by dating status, February 2011

                                                      Companies Covered

                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK)
                                                      • Alliance Boots
                                                      • Amazon.co.uk
                                                      • Apple Computer UK Ltd
                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                      • ASOS UK
                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                      • Condé Nast Publications Inc.
                                                      • Debenhams Total
                                                      • Dell B2C Retail Europe
                                                      • eBay UK
                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                      • Freeview
                                                      • Google UK
                                                      • Guess
                                                      • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                      • Hugo Boss
                                                      • J Sainsbury
                                                      • JD Sports Fashion plc
                                                      • JJB Group
                                                      • John Lewis Partnership
                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                      • Kelkoo S.A.
                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                      • Matalan Ltd
                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                      • MySpace.com
                                                      • Nectar
                                                      • New Look Group Plc
                                                      • Nike
                                                      • Ocado
                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                      • Ralph Lauren Ltd
                                                      • River Island Clothing Co Ltd
                                                      • Spar UK Ltd
                                                      • SuperGroup Plc (Retail)
                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                      • TalkTalk Telecom Ltd.
                                                      • Ted Baker
                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                      • The TJX Companies
                                                      • Topman
                                                      • Topshop
                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                      • Virgin Group Ltd.
                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                      • Waitrose Ltd
                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                      Marketing to Singles - UK - April 2011

                                                      £2,195.00 (Excl.Tax)