While watching House Hunters International on HGTV tonight, I got to see a promotion for a new show soon to premiere.
As soon as I saw the promo, I decided that it was important to use it as the lead-in for this Blog posting.
Most of my evenings in the city are spent attempting to relax and watch a bit of television.
More times than not, I ended up watching television and then taking what I see and adding it into the mix of the projects I might be completing.
Tonight is no different.
In the last week, I have made six presentations about the character of Atlanta neighborhoods, their projected five-year growth, their demographics and their lifestyle mix.
When I ask area business people, folks I sit next to in coffee shops, area politicians and even fellow marketing consultants what percentage of the local area population is made up of the conventional family with kids, at least two-thirds of the responses voiced are guesses of 50% or more.
No question that Baby Boomers made more babies. Also no question that those babies did not leave the nest for good as we might say is normal.
Then again, Baby Boomers are never known for their normalcy.
GenXers represent the core base of the stereotype of the family...at least for the last 15 years or so. In this calendar year, the leading edge of the GenXers turns 48 years old.
We must always remember that…
#1 – The average size of the U.S. household is very much anchored around two kids or less.
#2 – GenXers are the smallest generational group in the U.S.
Hence, the number of kids in the U.S. has been shrinking along with the percentage of the U.S. made up of households with kids.
Singles, couples and empty-nesters as a group on "non-kid households" now makes up more than two-thirds of the U.S. population and is actually growing.
But… the next generation that I write about a lot – the Millennials – is the next change agent of U.S. culture.
The hot American Dream is all about getting coupled (note that I did not say married) and buying the first house.
Shows that range the mix from First Time Homebuyers to Say Yes To The Dress to I Found The Gown to Marriage Under Construction are all centered on the Millennials as they move from single-hood to couple-hood.
The new show on HGTV will be about…no surprise... couples coming together and getting a house just in time for couple-hood.
Remember… the show is on HGTV and if the show was grounded solely on marriage in the conventional setting, many of the film and host crew would boycott the set.
Here in Atlanta, the hottest real estate area is a neighborhood called Ashford Park. It is littered with singles, couples, hitched and newly marrieds.
Many business leaders believe that the conventional mom-pop-two-kids-dog-and-cat family represents more than half of the area.
It represents just less than 23%. Singles and couples account for more than three out of every four households.
Not only are Millennials re-scripting career development, work hours, leisure time, communications, the definition of “friends”… but they are now emerging as next wave of setting down roots and carving out their own character of neighborhood and home.
I preach this to bankers and pediatric hospitals.
I preach this to home designers and retailers.
I preach this to grocery stores and QSR restaurants.
The American landscape and couple-hood is going through a major change right now.
If you still are featuring pictures of the ideal mix from 1990s and first few years of the 2000s… your brand is WAY behind the times.