It will come as no surprise that one of the defining features of the urban consumer is diversity.

Whilst rural consumers tend to be more homogeneous, urban consumers vary in a myriad of ways.

We have studied the latest report from Stylus and picked out three tribes in particular, all of which are growing in our ever-changing urban landscape and offer brands new opportunities.

Silver Settlers

  •  There has been an increase in the number of older consumers (aged 54-72) returning to cities. Research by Welltower suggests this is primarily due to better services, such as work, culture, transport and welfare.
  • Urban consumers (60 and over), in years to come, will generate 60% of urban consumption growth in countries in Western Europe, Japan and South Korea. By 2030, this group will represent 19% globally.

OPPORTUNITY: Ageing cities offer brands the chance to diversify and evolve accordingly.

Health Seekers

  •  The demands of city living (stressful commutes and long-working hours for instance) take their toll on the urban consumer, leaving many looking for smart ways to unwind and slow down. Architects are tapping into this, creating new, high-density housing to tackle polluted cities and improve air quality. One example of this is the Nanjing Green Towers, the first vertical forest to be built in Asia with the chief goal of absorbing CO2 and creating oxygen. Simultaneously, a growing concern amongst urbanites is pollution, which has seen a demand for anti-pollution skincare, masks and air quality monitors.

OPPORTUNITY: Pollution is creating new avenues for relevant brand growth with the launch of both new and enhanced products.


  • Flexible services are on the rise, and whilst home and mobility may be the current focus, the sector is rapidly expanding into new fields. Younger urbanites are 10-20% more likely to use sharing-economy services, which can range from accommodation and cars, to kitchen appliances and furniture. Adjustable housing or homes that ‘grow with you’ are emerging to challenge the ongoing affordable housing issue (adding floors to a house as the householder’s earning potential grows).

OPPORTUNITY: there is an appetite for brands to offer new, relevant, creative solutions to this tribe of consumers.

In summary, the brand owners to gain most will be those gathering research, intelligence and insight on these emerging sets and tailoring their product development and messaging accordingly.

Written by Sarah Geppert