In our latest research we look at the importance of understanding your customers and how the beliefs and values they hold will shape the way they buy from brands. This valuable insight can help you tailor your marketing and build stronger relationships with your audience.   

Driven by the growing purchasing power of activist-prone Gen Z and Millennials, consumers will increasingly shop from retailers and brands based on their core values and beliefs around ethics, the environment and sustainability, health and wellbeing. The relationship they have with a brand will also influence their purchase decision.   

In dentsu’s latest Shopper DNA report we take a look at seven different typologies following research around the core values that people have about themselves, the world and others around them. Read on to understand what motivates the British consumer.


What type of shopper are you?


Each segment displays a blend of values and beliefs but has been labelled according to their most dominant beliefs and those that differentiate them from other typologies. Let’s take a look.


1. Traditionalists


Support established customs and beliefs and advocate traditional values based on “family, faith and flag”. Satisfied with the lives they lead and proud of their roots. Prefer to buy British or locally sourced products and visit the High Street rather than shopping online.

Top past-times: Gardening, reading, visiting places of historical interest and worship.

Top brands used: RAC, M&S, Heinz, AA, Post Office, Batchelors, Anchor, E-on, Aunt Bessie’s, Ambrosia, B&Q, TSB and Kenco.

Breakdown: 75% are over 55. 46% are over 65. 92% have no children under 16.


2. Best-Lifers


Focussed on living up to their potential and leading a balanced, healthy & ethical lifestyle, whilst constantly raising the bar on their goals. Self-assured, leaders who influence others & pay extra for brands that offer quality, health, wellbeing and environmental benefits.

Top past-times: Cycling, running, working out/classes, Yoga, cinema, theatre, galleries, exhibitions & museums, home DIY, shopping, travelling, entertaining, swimming and tennis.

Top brands used: Nespresso, John Lewis, Uber, Burberry, Johnnie Walker, Calvin Klein, Shiseido, BMW, H&M, Innocent, Reebok, North Face, Sonos, American Express, Arla, British Airways, World Wildlife Fund, M&S, Heineken, Land Rover, Nike, Adidas, Chivas Regal and Waitrose.

Breakdown: 52% are female. 48% are male. 27% have children under 16. 


3. Frugalitarians


Careful and intelligent with money and skilled at managing the household budget. Think about decisions both financially and emotionally before acting. Enjoy the process of browsing around the shops and finding the best value items offline and online. “Make do and mend” mentality.

Top past-times: Shopping, cooking/baking, crafts, spending time with family and pets, watching TV/films and using social media.

Top brands used: Primark, McCain’s, Batchelors, Milka, Pandora, Kelloggs, Ambrosia, Aunt Bessie’s, Philadelphia, Kenco, Sharwoods, Iceland, Aldi, Hula Hoops, Cravendale and Weetabix.

Breakdown: Spans all age groups with slight bias to 45-64. 73% are female. 25% have children under 16.


4. Socially Actives


Value their local community and peers and make an active contribution. Socially and ethically conscious in all aspects of their lives, with a strong sense of right and wrong. Keen to impress others but also open to influence and new experiences. Comfortable shopping online or offline and with a preference for well-known brands.

Top past-times: Playing most sports, comedy shows, nightclubs, camping, shopping for clothes, spas, ten pin bowling, e-sports, photography and theme parks.

Top brands used: Amazon, H&M, Pandora, Vans, Sonos, WW, Asda, Co-op, Costco, BMW, Calvin Kelin, Nutella, Nike, Adidas, Jaguar, Burberry, BMW and Nespresso.

Breakdown: 62% are aged 15-34. 54% are male. 35% have children under 16.


5. Conservationists


Living life in a way that serves to protect the environment, whilst holding strong ethical values related to human life and a belief that we should learn from other cultures. Actively avoiding products that drain our natural resources and favouring companies that have a sustainability commitment. Undertaking actions to stay healthy.

Top past-times: Charity/volunteer work, cooking/baking, crafts, concerts, listening to music at home, photography, reading, walking/rambling, cycling, running, Yoga, working out, exhibitions, galleries and museums.

Top brands used: Innocent, Air BnB, M&S, IKEA, Microsoft, Durex, Guinness, John Lewis, Lionsgate, Sharwoods, Post Office, Uber, WWF, Waitrose, Ocado and Canon.

Breakdown: An even spread among age groups. 55% are female. 85% have no children under 16.


6. Simple-Lifers


Lives life humbly in the way they want to and doesn’t care about outward appearances. Doesn’t seek attention through being ostentatiously impressive or flashy. Considers purchases carefully and shops around for the best value, often sticking with the same brands.

Top past-times: Watching TV, especially sports and spending time with the family.

Top brands used: Volkswagen, Kelloggs, Mastercard, Microsoft, Samsung, Visa, Cadbury, Sony, E-on, Virgin, Ford, B&Q, Aunt Bessie’s and Wickes.

Breakdown: 73% are over 55. 49% are over 65. 84% have no children under 16. 65% are male. 


7. Consumerists


Highly susceptible to marketing and brand-name logos and pre- occupied with buying consumer goods, often impulsively. Easily swayed by others and influenced by their opinions of products, although not concerned with health, social or environmental benefits. Use a blend online and offline retail channels to suit their situational circumstances.

Top past-times: Going to pubs, bars and restaurants, using social media and clothes shopping.

Top brands used: Coca Cola, Budweiser, IKEA, Milka, Nike, Nutella, Pringles, Absolut Vodka, Adidas, Apple, Burger King, Primark, Sky, Uber,, Corona, Cadburys, KFC, H&M, Lego, MacDonalds, Oreo, Pandora, Subway, Vans, Smirnoff, Lionsgate, Hula Hoops, McCoys, Air BnB and William Hill.

Breakdown: 25% have children under 16. 48% are aged 15-34. 54% are female.


Looking ahead


To understand the shopping behaviours that will dominate in the future, it is worth considering the three typologies that currently contain the highest percentages of 15-34 year olds , i.e. the “Socially Actives” (52%), “Consumerists” (48%) and “Best-Lifers” (32%).

Each has a distinct set of core values and beliefs that will impact the way they make decisions and the goods and services they buy for many years to come. 

Retail and brand experiences should be designed with these values in mind. For example offering a space for people to come together in-store such as a juice bar or an area where your products can be experienced, to appeal to the “Socially Actives” or offering great customer service for “Best-Lifers” who want to understand the health, social and environmental attributes of your products, or creating treasure hunts to excite “Consumerists” looking for the next great product or deal.

If you’d like to explore your customer base and the best strategies to reach them, get in touch.

**This data was collected from a Nationally representative panel of 10,000 GB adults aged 15-75 in the last quarter of 2020 (mid-Pandemic) and is based on levels of agreement/disagreement with 70+ value statements. Through Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis we have identified the values and beliefs that inform purchase decisions and segmented the British population into 7 distinct typologies.