We are in the process of studying globalization and its impact on the future of families. In 2010, UN data shows that 3 per cent of the world’s population lived outside their country of origin (this includes migration for a range of reasons). With globalization, technology growth this trend will continue and accelerate. So we began to study migrant behaviour among the truly globalized citizens. Our focus was on older well off migrants making deliberate custom to move to developed markets to maximize opportunities. These are first time migrants not second or third generation global citizens with mixed ancestry. First stop Ho Chi Minh city. Based on some of our conversations, here is a likely scenario of the future family: Pop Up Parents
- Home is momentary. It is not a fixed space where people put in their possessions but it is defined by time, the activities around it and the relationships in that time space.
- Meet Hua. An educated 42 y.o. Vietnamese with 2 children. Hua has two homes. The first home is the ‘me time’ home. The time when she is ‘single’ again. She lives in a small studio apartment, works hard running her business and for the rest of the time socializes with friends or spends time reflecting on herself. Location: Ho Chi Minh city. This is where she spends her primary time.
- Her other home is her ‘reintegration’ home. This is when she spends all her time with her children and husband, cooking meals for them, visiting new places and getting to know her adopted home country and its people. Location: USA.
- Pop up parenting. Birth parents have been ‘outsourcing’ care to others for ages e.g. baby sitters, grandparents. With globalization and homes in multiple places, parents will expand this beyond the immediate family to friends/extended family. Help from Pop up parents will be enlisted anywhere in the world for any number of reasons as and when needed.
- When required, Hua requests her friends to step in to play the role of parents. E.g. when her kids needed to travel between countries she asked one of her friends to step in and ‘parent’ her children in their journey back and forth
This shift in parenting has interesting implications for brands. Here are 2:
- For those selling tangible household products, it is important to think about how home is evolving and the blurring of boundaries between what is home and what is not home – home as habitat?
- Besides being gender neutral, it is important to think about birth parent neutrality