Asda to reshape business around mums

Asda is to use findings from a rolling survey of mums to sharpen marketing to what it identifies as its key customer.

ASDA Mumdex

The supermarket’s “Mumdex” surveyed 4,000 mums about how they feel about their families, finances and the future in a bid to find out about the “realities of the changing economic landscape” and how the supermarket could support consumers.

Asda says it wanted to conduct a survey that didn’t look at house prices or sales data to measure consumer confidence, but instead talked to families.

In the first of what will become a quarterly report Asda’s chief operating officer Judith McKenna, says: “We’re proud to be a customer-focused business. Every business in the land claims to be customer-centric - but while others define themselves by the products on their shelves, and others by their history, the only definition that matters to us is an unrelenting focus on the customer. And for Asda, that’s the Asda Mum.”

It claims that the way mums feel about the future is not based on the money they have in their pocket, but about quality of life, prospects for the nation and their feelings about the community.

Offering products at the best possible prices was ranked as the most important issue for Asda, by 90% of mums. Second highest ranked is Asda’s role in providing employment (67%) and then its responsibility to stimulating local economies by offering locally-sourced products (46%).

It also reveals that 75% of mums are worse off than they were a year ago, but that 93% had changed their lifestyle to adapt to changes during the economic downturn.

Findings from Asda’s first “Mumdex” report.

42% per cent have been forced to accept a household pay cut or freeze
88% feel proud when they save money
Two thirds budget more now than a year ago - 10% buy more on credit
71% upgrade big ticket items less frequently
23% are borrowing to get by
A third of mums think media has downplayed economic impact
43% think UK economy with never be the same again

Readers' comments (2)

  • Asda’s decision to put mothers at the heart of its marketing strategy is no surprise; there is little doubt that as the main shoppers and decision makers for family purchases, this level of insight can be very powerful.

    What is commendable is Asda’s willingness to look beyond shopping behaviours to social trends. Whilst appearing to be unrelated these trends often have a profound effect on the nature of a consumer’s bond with a brand, through a broader understanding of their lifestyle.

    However, it would be interesting to know how the sample for the Mumdex panel has been profiled; the assumption being that it’s representative of the existing Asda demographic. If so, caution is needed to avoid the temptation to extrapolate the findings to all mums.

    Equally has Asda considered identifying those mums with the most influential clout? In a world where brands need to rely increasingly on word of mouth both on and (more crucially for this audience) offline, our research shows that it is a certain type of woman across all social classes who is shaping others’ attitudes and preferences, much more than any form of brand communication. Understanding these women and how, when and where they influence is key not only to gaining valuable insight into the development of social trends, but also to creating a WOM strategy that goes beyond the mummy blogger and into the real world.

    Research white paper can be downloaded from

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  • Ermmm, so what about fathers, single fathers that shop at Asda? Are they excluded from Asda's figures?

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