News about young, career-driven adults fleeing city living during a pandemic for the comforts of the suburbs has been greatly exaggerated. You might even call it fake news.
Young urbanites view surviving and thriving throughout COVID-19 as a badge of honor. It’s made them resourceful, resilient and skilled at the art of adaptation.
Which makes them the ones to watch as future leaders down the road.
A presentation that examined trends among Gen Z and millennials found an estimated 42% of young adults aged 14-34 are urbanites, with no plans on moving out of cities. Six in ten urbanites plan to stay put for at least 20 years.
It sounds like a tremendous commitment, but young people weren’t looking at the pandemic as an “out” to leave cities or temporarily move. They were thinking about how to adjust in a new normal.
Urbanites were better equipped at having groceries and liquor delivered long before suburbanites, because they were already doing it pre-pandemic.
City dwellers will be the first to reengage and lead the country into a new reality, setting the tone and establishing new norms. This group of young people will not be content with suburban life. They want diversity as in a divercity.
City living stands for a certain sense of toughness and resilience. It takes a lot to survive in the urban jungle. The pandemic hasn’t diminished this necessity; if anything, it has amplified this perception.
Brands need to acknowledge the toughness and resilience of urbanites. Does your brand amplify the diverse experience of city life? Isn’t it time that it did?
This group is adapting, willing to embrace change, creating a community AND still spending money — especially on a local level.
Urbanites have a renewed focus on the small businesses that make their cities the thriving metropolises they know and love. They are making an effort to support restaurants, bars, boutiques, and service providers to keep them running.
In 2020, an estimated 60% of young adults would rather purchase from a small/local retailer compared to 2018, when that number was 48%.
The same goes with community. Pre-COVID-19, urbanites were less likely to know their neighbors. Now, they engage with them. Fifty-six percent donated to the restaurant industry to support the places and people they love; 52% ordered meal kits, groceries and booze from restaurants; and 48% will continue to do so after the pandemic.
Here are some ideas on how to align your brand with strong, successful and resilient urbanites.
-- Think about how your brand can message its resilient character as a small business or as a brand that forged new paths in the wake of the crisis to show that it shares this value with young urbanites.
-- Consider how to move beyond the new normal to making it even better. Don’t just adapt to the new rules, but go beyond to be truly innovative in this time of reinvention.
-- Share and amplify stories from your local community — including your customers — that reflect this new sense of togetherness.