NEWS20 November 2017

Attitudes as likely to point to appeal of disruptor brands as age

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UK – The appeal of disruptor brands is not limited to the young and affluent, but rather attitudes and personalities, according to research by Network Research.


The online study found that disruptor brands appeal across all demographics and that attitudes and personality traits are as likely to determine use of disruptor brands as age or income. However, there is a tendency for disruptor use to decline with age and increase with income.

More than 40% of consumers hadn’t used any disruptor brands covered in the study but 17% had used more than three.

Among the older age group, 42% of 65+ had used one or more disruptor brands and 20% of the segment most keen on buying disruptor brands were over 55 years old. The highest users of disruptor were 25- to 44-year-olds, not the 18- to 24-year-olds ( 30% of this group had not used any of the mentioned disruptor brands.

And although household with an income over £55,000 were key adopters ( 74% use the brands) the main reason for choosing a disruptor brands was value for money.

The study asked consumers how much they’d agree with a variety of statements on society, the environment, use of technology, ways of choosing products and services, along with how they (and others) perceive themselves. Network Research’s analysis of this produced five segments: ‘tried and testeds’ who use disruptors the least; ‘mainstreamers’; ‘nonchalants’; ‘go getters’; and ‘too cool for schools’ – 16% of the population, the youngest segment with average age of 41 and most likely to use disruptor brands.

The study was carried out online in May 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1,500 adults aged 18+. It included a range of different sectors, and a selection of some of the UK’s established brands as well as a range disruptors.

Ginny Monk, CEO of Network Research, said: “With the rise in the disruptor phenomenon we saw an opportunity to understand the consumer mind-set with regards to change and the use of disruptor brands.

“It’s becoming increasingly apparent that no company or business model is safe. Any current model can, and should, be replaced on an ongoing basis if it means creating value for the consumer. Above all, you need to look at an industry from the consumer’s viewpoint and to do that you must integrate their attitudes with demographics to really understand their needs.”

The brands in the study were: 

Holidays: Airbnb, Thomson, cottages4u/, Skyscanner

Health: 23andMe, Push Doctor, Bupa, Vitality

Phones: Apple, giffgaff, O2, OnePlus, Three, Vodafone, EE

Utilities: British Gas, E.ON, First Utility, Ovo, Ecotricity, EDF, SSE, Scottish Power

Groceries: HelloFresh, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco

Other: Uber, Deliveroo

Financial Services: Atom Bank, Lloyds, MetroBank, Monzo, PensionBee, Scottish Widows, TSB, First Direct, Revolut, John Lewis Finance, Crowdcube, Transferwise, Nutmeg, HSBC, Barclays.