External shot of Waitrose with shoppers in the background

With the election looming, all parties are considering their demographic targets, which is certainly not a new strategy! Over the years we have seen the parties campaign target groups such as JAMS ‘Just About Managing’; Mondeo Man and Worcester Woman. Perhaps more unusually this year we are seeing the demographic naming conventions tied to leading supermarkets with Waitrose Woman and M&S Movers being named as key targets by the Liberal Democrats.

Whilst we cannot and should not say that all Waitrose or M&S customers will vote in a certain way, the concept of demographic targets is nothing new in marketing. This is how all brands think about their customers and develop personas and segments. What is perhaps useful about linking voting to retailers is that it gives a clear signal as to the type of person that the political party wishes to target, their associated lifestyles and it is easy to visualise the voter. From customer loyalty cards to online shopping to in-store purchases today retailers know far more about customers than ever, with all of the information generated by the trail of data that we leave behind!

One point of interest of the target of Waitrose Woman is that the Liberal Democrats are particularly keen to target the aged 40-60 female vote. The parties would do well to remember that the majority of household spending is driven by women, with women making about 70% of consumer spending decisions. So, any party that has a policy that affects consumption, they would do well to think of Waitrose (or any other supermarket) Woman.