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Oh Wad Some Power the Gift tae Gie Us

The term ‘Mosaic Profiling’ came up in conversation recently. I’d never heard of it but it is a system invented by credit and demographic company Experian which divides us all into 15 groups and 67 types. Their techniques are apparently used by business in deciding where to locate.

My first port of call to understand the concept was Wikipedia (click on the image for a clearer view):


I thought the Wiki page looked as if it could have been hacked. Surely this wasn’t serious?

Then I found the Mosaic Brochure and realised that the Wiki page was pretty accurate in its translation.

What about this?


Who knew that ‘hardworkingfamilies’ (see BLFP passim) was anything more than a New Labour epithet coined to attract disgruntled voters?

I’ve pored over the brochure and haven’t yet found a pigeon hole for family Bigrab yet.

Here are some of the fifteen groups:

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And I still don’t know where to open my new nail bar……


3 Responses

  1. The other big classification index in the UK is ACORN, and there are a few others. Sometimes companies will use more than one index simultaneously.

    The real value in these codes for marketing people is when they come cross-referenced with post codes. That way they can target their marketing spend quite closely. I looked up my own post code once – apparently I’m part of the “Green Welly” brigade.

    Remember that Experian run one of the big credit reference bureaus and have their fingers in lots of financial pies, so they can tell quite well how any particular area is doing and even what people in that area spend their money on.

    Although they seem quite benign with their jokey classifications, they are very sophisticated and often scarily perceptive.

  2. It’s Orwellian, and I’m glad to say very Anglocentric. Apparently I should be reading the Daily Mail and wearing a beige bodywarmer over my camisole top.

  3. I suppose it’s inevitable with so much information available on everyone these days that such profiling of areas would end up being a social science. I am told that Tesco have satellites which record and analyse traffic flows and this is how they can predict pretty much how much a new branch will take.

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