Posted by Laura Williams
10th February, 2021

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Celebrating single life

Brands need to adapt to a changing narrative around being single.
Published by Beyond: Building brands that make a difference™

As the lead-up to Valentine’s Day gathers place, supermarket chillers are suddenly packed with ‘romantic meal deals for two’, greeting card stands strain under the pressure of cards adorned with messages of love, and florists ready themselves for the annual influx of bouquet orders. However, the UK has more single people over the age of 16 than people in relationships. As this single demographic continues to grow, and society shifts its stance on singleness, a cultural change is asking businesses to reconsider how they market to single people.

Over the last year, 31-year-old artist and business strategist, Lainey Molnar has embarked on a mission to empower women, using honest comics across her social media accounts, to cut through all the filters that focus on women's roles in society and the way it perceives them. Covering issues including body image, gender equality, and sexual vulnerability, among many other significant topics, she also calls out societal pressures around people’s marital status.

With the leading message of ‘#YouDoYou’, she accompanied the below image with the caption: “Society’s perceived milestones shouldn’t affect how we view women. I’m 31, single, childfree, all my possessions fit in a few suitcases, and I’m happy. Not TV commercial happy, not lying to myself happy, just at peace with myself, always knowing that everything will eventually be fine, even at the worst of times. I still constantly hear “I hope you find a partner soon”, “You’ll meet him when you least expect it”, “Maybe it’s time to settle down”. Eh. We have the right to choose our lifestyle and not apologize for it, we have the right not to settle for less, we have the right to pick whatever makes us whole, being a white picket fence and three toddlers or backpacking around the world. Don’t let anyone’s rulebook or judgement define you.”

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Another fantastic woman taking singledom by storm is comedian, writer and single mum, Helen Thorn. Her personal Instagram account encourages other women to fully embrace the perks of single life. She also co-hosts ‘The Scrummy Mummies’ — a frank and funny podcast covering a range of issues affecting modern parents.

Solo living is increasing, and ‘the singletons’ is an important audience of both men and women, that brands can no longer afford ignore. In fact, Singles’ Day in China — launched over a decade ago and designed to reach out to young single people — has become the biggest sale of the year. It’s so popular in China, that it drives more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

In 2018 dating app, Tinder launched it’s ‘Single, Not Sorry’ campaign as an unapologetic celebration of what it means to be single — demonstrating that the dating app understands its audience and the benefits of remaining unattached, free and independent. This year makeup brand, Charlotte Tilbury is presenting its own ‘Magical Guide to Galentine’s Day’ — an annual celebration of friendship.

In 2019, Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Bread launched ‘Simply Small’, a line of miniature loaves targeted at singletons. With sustainability a priority for many young people, this shrunken offering provides a way to cut down on waste that fits into their lifestyles. Many other bread brands like Hovis and Warburtons have since followed suit. Today, all-in-one recipe box brands like Mindful Chef, and B-Corp ready meals company, COOK also caters to singletons with recipes and meals for one — eating solo can be, and is just as tasty, enjoyable and waste free.

The travel industry has long recognised the single market as a ticket to success, with brands like Flash Pack whose boutique group adventures ‘bring together like-minded people in their 30s & 40s on incredible adventures’. Other adventure brands like Wanderlust, The Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel have also long organised, catered to and encouraged exciting solo adventures.

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There’s a long way to go as communities and individuals slowly shift their traditional stance on ‘singleness’ in society. But from dating apps celebrating singleness to makeup and jewellery businesses embracing Galentine’s Day, it’s clear that brands are adapting to an increasing trend towards single positivity and we’re all for it. We can’t wait to see more brands embracing and celebrating the solo status!