Can Asda be a mum’s best friend?

MaryLou Costa

Insights from Asda’s first ‘Mumdex’ may provide the retailer with a powerful edge, as results show that UK mums are looking not just for a financial break but support to deal with overall impacts of the economic crisis.

Asda’s Mumdex is a clever tool. For a supermarket that does not offer a loyalty card scheme to match its rivals, the Mumdex serves not just for research purposes but is fulfilling brand engagement criteria that a loyalty scheme won’t be able to achieve.

The Mumdex is also gaining mileage as a PR tool, with a fresh new angle over the tired messages we get from all the supermarkets around price offers and new products.

The results of the survey of 2,141 “Asda mums” released this week not only show just what a tough slog this demographic is experiencing but provides the retailer with direct feedback on how to engage more closely with this audience.

Many of the findings will act as affirmations for Asda, not least to reassure it that positioning its messaging around saving money is really hitting the right spot for its target audience.

And there are other insights that will take little reading between the lines for Asda, or any other brand reading the report for that matter, that can help devise specific activities to meet a certain attitude or need.

As two thirds of Asda mums say they are budgeting more now than they used to a year ago, the brand has launched an easy to use online budget planner. Asda then collects the results to show individuals how they fare against the nation, which is a clever way for the brand to retain this data for its further use.

With one in 10 saying they are buying more on credit, and a worrying 23% saying they struggle to make ends meet and are borrowing to get by, there is an opportunity for the brand to offer accessible financial advice, for example, through workshops held in its stores. This would also prove useful to the 43% of 16 to 29-year-old Asda mums who say they are borrowing to afford the basics.

Eighty-eight per cent of Asda Mums say they feel proud of saving money. To leverage this “financial feel-good factor”, Asda already offers price comparison and price matching services, but it could also offer specific rewards to its top money savers.

Likewise, it could offer specific rewards to those mums like the ones in the survey who say they are allocating twice as much of their budget towards their children as they are towards savings, in a determined effort to spare them the emotional drain of such trying times. These rewards might not just aimed at children, but at mums to help them feel special, through pampering treats, for example.

Family activities and holidays are also becoming more elusive affairs, as two thirds say they are spending less now on family activities and 22% say they are looking to take a cheaper holiday this year. This is an obvious angle for branded partnerships and also links to the 12% that say Asda should get more involved in local communities.

Through the conversations Asda is having with its Mums’ panel, the supermarket is really positioning itself as more than just a cheaper option to its competitors, but as a best friend that listens and cares. It might sound cheesy but it’s a strategic step in the right direction to developing the brand personality beyond its two dimensional price attributes.

However, 92% of mums in the survey did say that their main request from Asda was that it continued to offer cheap prices. It might confirm that Asda’s price positioning is the right thing for its audience but I hope it doesn’t overshadow all the other concerns that Asda has managed to dig out.

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