Introducing A Single Insight: The Science of Solos

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Organizations are fixated on families—targeting them with products and promotions. By doing so, however, these organizations end up fighting for the same customers.

Yet, there is another market—one that is overlooked and undervalued.

They are the one hundred and twenty-eight million adults in the United States who are unmarried—nearly 50% of the adult population. The median age for a first marriage is now 29, and rising. Moreover, 28% of households in the United States are single occupancy—a number as high as 50% in some Scandinavian cities.

I am launching A Single Insight as a resource for managers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and salespeople who see an opportunity to escape the competition by serving solos in the marketplace.

Solos are not simply one half of a couple. They are a diverse group, including 18-year-old college students, 88-year-old widows, and every stage between. Moreover, solos are disproportionately women, Black, and LGBTQ.

Thus, serving solos requires different perspectives. For example, they have more discretion over how and what they spend their money on. Solos are also more mobile—in where they live, how they work, and what they do for fun. Importantly, only half of singles want to couple up in the first place.

In short, singles have greater optionality (for better or for worse).

With that in mind, I ask:

  • What is your strategy for selling and marketing to singles?
  • Are you creating products to serve singles’ unique needs?
  • How does your brand story resonate with them?
  • Are you representing singles in your advertisements and other promotions?

Using science, case studies, and large-scale surveys, I will help you identify opportunities to better serve singles in the marketplace.

And who am I to guide you?

As a behavioral economist and business school professor, I study how people think, feel, and behave. Before turning my attention to singles, I spent my time cracking the humor code as the Director of the Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL).

I also know how single people think, feel, and behave. I created A Single Insight after seeing too many organizations miss opportunities to serve my Solo podcast listeners and the 200,000+ members of my solo clubs on Clubhouse.

And as a lifelong bachelor, I am a member of the target market.

A Single Insight will address topics such as:

Why Singles’ day (11/11) turned from a niche celebration on a college campus to the biggest eCommerce day of the year.

  • How singles have different responsibilities caring for themselves and disproportionately caring for their pets and aging parents.
  • In a twist on the American Dream, why singles are more likely to see their house, apartment, or Sprinter van as a home base rather than as a home.
  • What are the demographic, psychographic, and technological trends behind the explosive growth in single living?
  • How South Korean businesses are creatively building business models to serve the Honjoks—a group of young, creative solos breaking free of Korea’s collectivistic norms.

Next insight: Why Singles’ day (11/11) turned from a niche celebration on a college campus to the biggest eCommerce day of the year.


Dr. Peter McGraw—a behavioral economist, business school professor and bachelor—hosts the podcast Solo—The Single Person’s Guide to a Remarkable Life. His solo clubs on Clubhouse are home to more than 200,000+ members. As the Director of The Humor Research Lab (HuRL) and two-time author (The Humor Code and Shtick to Business), McGraw speaks at Fortune 500 companies, public events, and universities around the world.

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