Know Your Customer Like Never Before, Part 4: Life in the City

Know Your Customer Like Never Before, Part 4: Life in the City

By Jason Haley

For the fourth installment of our tapestry series, we’ll be covering Tapestry Segments in the City.

(Note: you can read the first, secondthird, fifth, and sixth posts  or access the whole series here.)

Download the Complete Tapestry Segmentation Guide:

This post (as well as the next) will specifically highlight Tapestry Segments in LifeModes in America’s urban core. Since there are so many urban segments, we’ll be covering them over two posts. This first post will include urban LifeModes predominantly made up of white and black populations. Households in these Segments are made up of people ages 28-47 years old. As these populations age into their 30s and 40s, they will begin to utilize health care more and more. By targeting these LifeModes, a healthcare organization can hone in on areas where the growth of healthcare needs can be expected in the future and plan accordingly.

Before we dive into the rest of this post, here’s a quick Tapestry refresher: Tapestry Segmentation was designed specifically for understanding your customer’s lifestyle choices —what they buy and how they spend their free time. This information gives Stratasan, and our clients, insights that help identify a facility’s patient types, optimal sites for hospitals, physician offices, FSERS, and urgent care locations. We use Tapestry Segmentation to help our clients get higher response rates, focus on the most profitable growth opportunities, and invest their resources in the best ways possible.




Urbanization Summary Groups

The Segments in the three LifeModes (Gen X Urban, Middle Ground, and Midtown Singles) are comprised of three primary Urbanization Summary Groups:

  • Group 2: Urban Periphery
    • City life for starting families in neighborhoods that fringe major cities
    • The earliest suburbs, built before 1970, primarily single-family housing with some apartments
    • Young families with children, diverse population
    • Homeowners living closer to the city, with below average vacancy rates
    • Leisure focuses on the children (visits to theme parks or water parks), sports (soccer, basketball, baseball) and movies
    • Spending also emphasizes the children—clothing, toys and baby products
    • Parents of small children favor family restaurants and fast food
    • Smartphones are popular for social contacts, shopping, and music
  • Group 3: Metro Cities
    • Affordable city life including smaller metropolitan cities or satellite cities that feature a mix of single-family and multi-unit housing
    • Single householders seeking affordable living in the city: usually multi-unit buildings that range from mid- to high-rise apartments; average monthly rents and home value below the U.S. average
    • Consumers include college students, affluent Gen X couples, and retirement communities
    • Student loans more common than mortgages; debit cards more popular than credit cards
    • Residents share an interest in city life and its amenities, from dancing and clubbing to museums and concerts
    • Convenience and mobility favor cell phones over landlines
    • Many residents rely upon the Internet for entertainment (download music, play online games) and as a useful resource (job searches)
  • Group 4: Suburban Periphery
    • Urban expansion: affluence in the suburbs or city-by-commute
    • The most populous and fast-growing among Urbanization groups, Suburban Periphery includes one-third of the nation's population
    • Commuters value low density living, but demand proximity to jobs, entertainment, and the amenities of an urban center
    • Well-educated, two-income households, accept long commute times to raise their children in these family-friendly neighborhoods. Many are heavily mortgaged in newly built, single-family homes
    • Older householders have either retired in place, downsized, or purchased a seasonal home
    • Suburbanites are the most affluent group, working hard to lead bright, fulfilled lives
    • Residents invest for their future, insure themselves against unforeseen circumstances, but also enjoy the fruits of their labor

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Now that we understand the urban scope of these LifeModes, let’s take look at some of their general habits and some of the segments within them:

LifeMode 5 - Gen X Urban

The Gen X Urban LifeMode contains five individual tapestry segments: 5A - Comfortable Empty Nesters, 5B - In Style, 5C - Parks and Rec, 5D - Rustbelt Traditions, and 5E - Midlife Constraints. Households in this LifeMode are generally 38-47 years old, married, living in single family housing, are predominantly white, and make $47,000-$68,000 annually.

Households that fall within the Gen X Urban LifeMode are:

  • Gen X in middle age; families with fewer kids and a mortgage
  • Second largest Tapestry group, comprised of Gen X married couples and a growing population of retirees
  • About a fifth of residents are 65 or older; about a fourth of households have retirement income
  • Own older single-family homes in urban areas, with 1 or 2 vehicles
  • Live and work in the same county, creating shorter commute times
  • Invest wisely, well-insured, comfortable banking online or in person
  • News junkies (read a daily newspaper, watch news on TV, and go online for news)
  • Enjoy reading, photo album/scrapbooking, playing board games and cards, doing crossword puzzles, going to museums and rock concerts, dining out, and walking for exercise

Let’s take a look at two of the Gen X Urban Segments below: 

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LifeMode 8 - Middle Ground

The Middle Ground LifeMode is made up of seven Tapestry Segments: 8A - City Lights, 8B - Emerald City, 8C - Bright Young Professionals, 8D - Downtown Melting Pot, 8E - Front Porches, 8F - Old and Newcomers, and 8G - Hardscrabble Road. Households in the Middle Ground LifeMode are 32-39 years old; can be single, married, and married with children; live in every type of housing; are black and white; and make between $27,000-$61,000 annually.

Households in the Middle Ground LifeMode tend to have the following characteristics:

  • Lifestyles of thirtysomethings
  • Millennials in the middle: single/married, renters/homeowners, middle class/working class
  • Urban market mix of single-family, townhome, and multi-unit dwellings
  • Majority of residents attended college or attained a college degree
  • Householders have ditched their landlines for cell phones, which they use to listen to music (generally contemporary hits), read the news, and get the latest sports updates of their favorite teams
  • Online all the time: use the Internet for entertainment (downloading music, watching YouTube, finding dates), social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), shopping and news
  • Leisure includes nightlife (clubbing, movies), going to the beach, some travel and hiking

Let’s take a look at two of the Middle Ground’s Tapestry Segmentations:

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LifeMode 11 - Midtown Singles

This LifeMode is made up of five Tapestry Segments: 11A - City Strivers, 11B - Young and Restless, 11C - Metro Fusion, 11D - Set to Impress, and 11E - City Commons. Midtown Singles households are 28-35 years old, are single, tend to rent apartments and houses, are white and black, and make $18,000-$41,000 annually.

Households within the Midtown Singles LifeMode tend to have the following characteristics:

  • Millennials on the move—single, diverse, urban
  • Millennials seeking affordable rents in apartment buildings
  • Work in service and unskilled positions, usually close to home or public transportation
  • Single parents depend on their paycheck to buy supplies for their very young children
  • Midtown Singles embrace the Internet, for social networking and downloading content
  • From music and movies to soaps and sports, radio and television fill their lives
  • Brand savvy shoppers select budget friendly stores


As with the other LifeModes above, let’s take a look at two of the Tapestry Segments within the Midtown Singles LifeMode:

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The Takeaway

Throughout this series on Tapestry data, we will break out the various Tapestry Segments by LifeMode and uncover what the population that falls into each segment does, where they live, and what drives them. With a more in-depth understanding of each segment, you will be better equipped to serve your existing patient populations and expand your reach within your markets.

Since Tapestry Segmentation is so diverse and can be quite different depending on what part of the country you are in, we will break out the segments within the many LifeModes over the course of this series. By the end of it, you will be able to identify and interpret the tapestry segments in your market and help coordinate your strategy and/or marketing outreach accordingly.

Article by Jason Haley, GIS Manager for Stratasan

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