- The average Manhattanite household spends 59% of their $13,079 food budget on dining out, compared to the average American household that spends only 42% of their $6,514 food budget on dining out. (Source: Bundle, May 2010.)
- Even four years ago, Harris identified "Urban Hustlers" (who comprise 21% of U.S. consumers aged 12-34) who spend close to $9 billion (10% of their annual spending on recreational activities. Urban Hustlers are spending, on average, over 100 times more than the non-urban population monthly, with their overall discretionary spending reaching $383 per month. (Source: Harris Interactive, June 2007.)
- The lifestyle of urban Chinese consumers has changed from a “survive” mentality to an “enjoy life” one, with 54% now pursuing a more fun lifestyle. (Source: GfK Roper, 2010.) Only 17% of Chinese urban dwellers say they are "reluctant to spend money." (Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, August 2010.)
Now that we have good trend research, how can we use it in our digital strategy planning?
In large urban environments, many residents will take on identities that reflect the city’s culture, changing one’s normal identity from "I am I" to "I am NYC, LA, Sidney, or Shanghai." So, if you were to launch a media campaign in a large urban environment you might approach it by identifying your brand with urban-specific products, services, and communications that capture a city's character. For example:
718 Made in Brooklyn is an urban furniture design company based in New York. In Spring 2010, they launched their personal "Subway Series." The product was designed from decommissioned and recycled subway signs, which the company reinvented into lights. Their object was to market these recycled signs to urban dwellers to use in their home, office, or as gifts.
In August 2010, Starbucks launched new ultra-premium, single-origin coffees only available (in limited quantities) in metro markets such as New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Miami.
In December 2010 in San Francisco, Yahoo! installed digital screens into 20 bus shelters across the city. Commuters were given the opportunity to play video games with and against each other. Commuters are given the choice to identify with one of the 20 preselected neighborhoods, and represent one of them as a player. The winner of the two-month contest received a performance by the band Ok Go, and a fully paid for block party. The residual from this is an intense increase in your personal Facebook friends count and Twitter followers!