News release


Bruno Rost
Head of PR,
+44 (0) 115 968 5009 Tel Email


Experian reveals the changing face of UK Society


Nottingham, UK, 22 July 2009 Experian’s market leading consumer classification – Mosaic UK – has now been comprehensively rebuilt and updated to reflect important demographic and social changes that have occurred in contemporary British society since 2003. The new classification has been re-built with a range of additional data sources to encompass a more detailed understanding of the ageing population, recent changes in household composition, the growth in ethnic diversity and the impact of the Internet in the new network society.


Mosaic is Experian’s market leading people classification and is used by thousands of commercial and not-for-profit organisations to gain insight into local consumer markets, behaviours and lifestyles.  Mosaic is used in the commercial sector to map, analyse and target markets at person, household and postcode level. It is used as a key tool in targeted marketing e.g. customer communication, prospect recruitment, local marketing and branch network planning. 


Mosaic UK 2009 draws on over 440 separate pieces of compliant public and proprietary sourced information for each of the UK’s 48 million adults – a total of 21 billion individual data items to create a rich and detailed picture of modern British society.  Following the re-build, the classification now incorporates 15 lifestyle groups, 67 lifestyle types and 141 person types. The re-built classification will be updated every six months to provide a continuously contemporary view of UK consumers at person, household and postcode level.


Mosaic UK 2009 includes a number of new consumer groups such as Alpha Territory, Active Retirement, Small Town Diversity and Terraced Melting Pot. Some of the more significant social trends identified in the new version of Mosaic are:


·         Ageing Society. It is estimated there will be three million more people over 55 by 2019 but Mosaic makes a distinction between the active and less active phases of retirement. The new classification recognises the increasingly active nature of early retirement years (with the commercial opportunities this presents) and the latter phases which require more health and social care. Mosaic also identifies a move away from the traditional south coast retirement towns with many more affluent retirees - ‘Country Loving Elders’ - moving inland to historical and cultural towns while others - ‘Beachcombers’ - seek more exclusive seaside villages and expensive holiday destinations.


·         Mosaic UK 2009 has identified a small but an exceptionally wealthy section of British Society. Representing some 3 per cent of the UK population, ‘Alpha Territory’ includes people that have received substantial injections of capital over and above their already high incomes, such as from bonuses, share options or the sale of businesses. This elite includes individuals from the public as well as commercial sector.


·         Migration. Mosaic UK 2009 reflects the diverse and increasingly multicultural nature of contemporary Britain. It identifies communities where we have seen the growth of mono-cultural enclaves (‘Asian Identities’) and, by contrast, neighbourhoods which have embraced multi-culture through assimilation and integration (‘Terraced Melting Pot’ and ‘Global Fusion’). It recognises areas where more affluent Asians live (‘Asian Attainment’) and neighbourhoods populated by newcomers to the country (‘Re-housed Migrants’).


·         Change in household composition. The last ten years have seen a massive rise in single person households. This has created a mismatch between housing supply (typically three bedroom houses built for families) and actual housing needs. Mosaic UK 2009 recognises the growth in all types of single occupancy, including ‘Crash Pad Professionals’ living in flats on brown field sites, ‘Side Street Singles’, ‘Small Block Singles’ and ‘Bright Young Things’. A significant trend, identified by Mosaic, has been the growth in concentrated student populations which has fuelled an increase in multi-occupancy households dominated by single people.


·         Marginalisation of rural Britain. Mosaic UK 2009 has identified a strong rural segment of society (‘Rural Solitude’) which has separated itself from creeping urbanisation and materialism. This has emerged as a result of the increasing gentrification of rural communities within commuting distances of large towns and cities, driving country people further into rural Britain. These rural types are affirming their identity and include Mosaic types such as ‘Modern Agribusiness’, ‘Farming Today’ and ‘Upland Struggle’.


·         The network society. The UK has grown from 10 per cent to almost 70 per cent broadband coverage since 2003. This massive transformation has brought a range of new social behaviours as people develop online social networks to keep in touch with family and friends, recommend products, services and experiences and transact business. It has also become a showcase for one’s own personal social capital. Mosaic has identified how different social types use the Internet for a range of new purposes.  Mosaic UK 2009 uses Hitwise’s online intelligence to provide the latest insight into which consumers are using the internet for shopping, sourcing information and social networking.


·         Impact of recession. By linking Experian’s economic forecasting capabilities to Mosaic UK, Experian identifies the degrees to which different types of people are affected by the current recession. Those most affected include the group ‘Active Retirement’ who have seen their savings and investments seriously eroded, the ‘Professional Rewards’ type which is having to support grown-up children financially and ‘New Homemakers’ who, having bought brand new properties in the last few years, now find themselves in serious negative equity.


David Turner, Location Planning and Development Manager, Mitchells & Butlers, commented: “Mitchells & Butlers owns and operates nearly two thousand retail leisure outlets in the UK and last year we served over 110 million sit down meals in a variety of different leisure concepts from city bars and family restaurants to high energy outlets and gourmet country pubs. Our business has grown organically and it has been essential to keep sight of changing social trends and consumer demand. We have used Mosaic UK as a key tool to understand our customers, site new outlets, optimise sales and evaluate demand for our unique retail brands. The latest version of Mosaic UK, with its regular updates and additional data sources, will enable us to continue growing our business by revealing further insight into who and where our current and future guests are.”


Mark Davies, Managing Director of TNT Post (Doordrop Media), added: “We are genuinely excited by the latest version of Mosaic as it plays such an important part in our business. TNT Post delivers over 2.2 billion unaddressed items a year. Many organisations use leaflets to communicate with large numbers of people at a low cost and Mosaic UK enables us to deliver highly targeted and responsive campaigns. In the current climate where marketing budgets are constrained clients need us to demonstrate a real return on investment. Mosaic has answered these needs and underpins the targeting innovations we have brought to market to answer our clients’ requirements. Our clients have reported a 30 per cent improvement in response rates using Mosaic, helping to show how door dropping is still a highly effective distribution channel. Experian’s new Mosaic UK classification demonstrates true innovation and comes at the perfect time for TNT Post.”


Nigel Wilson, Managing Director of Experian’s Business Strategies division, concluded: “Mosaic has become the classification of choice and is used by thousands of leading companies and organisations across the UK. This is because its accuracy, richness and detailed level of insight cannot be matched. The latest version of Mosaic is the product of a continuous development programme and represents major investment by Experian. Experian has been developing classifications for over 25 years and our latest Mosaic offers an exceptional, detailed and accurate picture of UK consumers, their households and neighbourhoods in contemporary British society.”






About Mosaic


Mosaic is Experian’s market leading people classification system and is used by commercial organisations throughout the UK.  The latest update, Mosaic UK 2009, classifies the UK adult population (48.1 million adults and 24.7 million households) into 15 main socio-economic groups, 67 types and 141 personal categories.  It is available at person, household and postcode level.  Mosaic was first developed in the 1980s, is currently in its fifth generation. The current classification has been developed using over 21 billion separate data items.


Mosaic is also a global consumer classification tool and is available in 29 major countries. It classifies a billion consumers worldwide, covering a third of the surface area of the Earth and is available in all of the world’s most prosperous economies including China, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.


Mosaic is used in the commercial sector to map, analyse and target potential and existing markets for any products and services. It is used by retailers and property developers as a key tool for site location, evaluation, sales optimisation, benchmarking and measurement.  Mosaic is used in the public sector in the UK for a range of applications and is an excellent predictor of many economic variables such as incomes, spending characteristics and housing demand.  The police use Mosaic to identify neighbourhoods at risk of burglary and other household crimes. The Health Service uses Mosaic to map and analyse vulnerability to a range of medical conditions and the Fire Service uses Mosaic to identify households most at risk of fire. Mosaic is also used by all the main political parties to profile the electorate.