Asda and the community

Asda is diving headfirst into the political debate surrounding the upcoming general election with its latest community driven initiative.

Rosie Baker
Rosie Baker

The supermarket is looking to “Asda mums”, which makes up 80% of its customers to gauge public opinion of the issues being discussed by politicians.

The latest initiative asks mums to keep online diaries of issues affecting them and their families and what really matters to them.

It follows the launch of Asda’s social networking site YourAsda last year and CEO Andy Bond’s announcement that the supermarket would embrace ’democratic consumerism’ in a bid to put the customer at the heart of the supermarket chain’s decision-making process.

A sizeable chunk of the nation might be asking “what does Asda have to do with politics?” and the answer is not a lot.

But what it does have an awful lot to do with is the electorate – namely its customers.

While Gordon, Dave and Nick talk the talk about spending cuts and political reform and despite photo ops with the unemployed in job centres and hoodies on the streets, Asda has found that a mere 1% of its customers trust politicians and less than 50% are even planning on voting in the election.

It’s being careful not to make any political claims itself, it’s merely showing an interest in the opinions of its customers and the impact politicians have.

If Asda can facilitate a relationship between its customers and the leading parties, the supermarket is right to leverage that.

Asda is reflecting the times and has recognised its role within communities is being more that just a grocer. It has far more impact on the lives of everyday people than Westminster does and is riding the same wave of influence Mumsnet.com is because its community has huge consumer power.

Asda has a great deal of sway with the public. Something the politicians are obviously aware of, or they wouldn’t be engaging in the debate.

With its Asda Mums election drive, Asda isn’t even trying to directly sell its own products, push its “everyday low prices” or encourage people into its stores. It’s an exercise in demonstrating to its existing customers that they are valued for more than just the pounds they spend ant the till, but as members of the community.

In turn that will only boost in its customers’ minds that they value Asda for more than just the groceries it sells.

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