Brockley Economics: Demand-side

When we first moved to Brockley, the advertising billboards around Brockley Cross were plastered with ads for dubious churches, debt consolidation firms and sexual stamina pills. These days, they're full of ads for cereals, supermarkets and TV stations, suggesting that advertisers believe there is a new demographic in the area to be targeted.

At first, we attributed the change in advertising to the arrival of the East London Line, whose route we thought advertisers may have been following. But we now reckon the change took place some time last year, most likely after the new Mosaic data was released by Experian. Mosaic is probably the most widely-used tool for marketers and planners trying to identify particular demographics in particular areas. It will tell an advertiser whether (it thinks) the people in your house are "Young, well-educated city dwellers", "Elderly people reliant on state support", "Wealthy people living in the most sought-after neighbourhoods" and so on.

If Experian thinks there are more people with more cash in the area, with different tastes to the people who lived here last time they did the survey, then ads change accordingly. So the billboards in Brockley should be a signal to small businesses in the area about what type of potential customers live locally. The ads for cars and yoghurt suggest there is more money locally than once there was.

But while this is undoubtedly true, it is by no means the whole story. According to recent data for Brockley, it remains a highly mixed area, with the biggest single category of household described as "Lower income workers in urban terraces in often diverse areas" followed by "Young, well-educated city dwellers" and "Young people renting flats in high density social housing". None of that ought to be particularly surprising to anyone who explores Brockley for themselves, but one of the most striking details is that there appear not to be any old people in Brockley.

For those worried about the onset of gentrification in Brockley, don't be. The data suggests that your elderly carcass will have been escorted from the premises long before Brockley becomes a middle class fortress.

25 comments:

Ratbag said...

I thought the advertisers view of us had changed when I saw the Waitrose poster at Brockley station this evening.

Anonymous said...

Where's the nearest Waitrose?

Anonymous said...

Canary Wharf

Ed said...

Very interesting Nick, thanks.

What's this about Waitrose?

I worked from home yesterday as I didn't fancy the Canary Wharf experience on strike day and went out to the shops during the day; quite a few 'characters' out on the high street I can tell you.

mg said...

There's one at St Katharine's Dock also, handy for Wapping.

Deptford Pudding said...

For goodness sake you lot, there's a Waitrose in Grove Park, and in Beckenham and Bromley. Get out more.

pip said...

Aren't they harder to get to without a car, don'tgetmestarted? I'd have thought the Canary Wharf one was the easiest and quickest to get to by public transport, but I'd be happy to find that I was wrong about that.

pedal frenzy said...

don'tgetmestarted, the ones you suggest are what, 5 to 7 miles from Brockley? Canary Wharf and Wapping are much closer as pip points out.

Get out of your car more.

Anonymous said...

canary wharf is the closest.

Tressilliana said...

Canary Wharf: 3 miles.
Beckenham: 3.45 miles.
St Katharine's Dock: 3.53 miles.
Burnt Ash Lane (I think this is Grove Park): 3.57
Bromley South (right next to station): 4.82

So not much in it. If you are only carrying back two or three bags of food, maybe public transport is fine. However, if you are doing a weekly shop for even a couple, let alone a family, it's hard to carry that much. I don't have a car so I would get a minicab back from the supermarket, if I didn't circumvent this by doing the shopping online.

Anonymous said...

I entered my home postcode and the Waitrose shops postcode on Google Maps and got distances about 2 miles longer than what the Waitrose website states.

Conspiracy?

Ed said...

Apparently there is an article about something somewhere. Good Waitrose chat though.

Tamsin said...

@ Nick. There are some old people in Brockley Ward, just not very many of them as elsewhere in the borough. On data which is now admittedly nearly 10 years out of date (i.e. the last Census) Brockley, Evelyn, New Cross, Telegraph Hill and Ladywell are in the bottom five for those over 60 both numerically and as a percentage of the population as a whole. (And were you looking at post-code or ward, since they are fairly different.)

Love the Mosaic Brochure - and the description of the various "types". Just wonder where they will get a lot of the raw data from in the future if the scope of the census is cut back as threatened.

pip said...

@Tressiliana - well, quite. I don't have a car and therefore feel quite happy to pay a bit extra and use Ocado. It's still nice to know what my options are for local(ish) supermarket shopping when Budgens can't help. Looks like CW is my best bet (I'm not keen on Sainsbury's at NXG).

Gerry said...

Isn't it a bit odd that their category descriptions include terms like 'city dwellers' - if we live in Brockley then we're ALL either city dwellers or we're not, surely? I haven't looked at the research, but it sounds like their groups are a bit random.

Ed said...

Literally random?

Ed said...

Also, does anyone else agree there are too many billboards, particularly at BX?

drakefell debaser said...

Agreed, there are far too many but most of them sit on Network Rail land, I think, so I don't think much can be done about them

Deptford Pudding said...

Beckenham Waitrose is next to the station, Bromley Waitrose is next to the station. Admit it, you young people think CW is more metrosexual and thrusting, Bromley far too suburban. I see Tescos doesn't get a mention... But really you should be patronising local shops, not supermarkets.

Deptford Pudding said...

Beckenham Waitrose is next to the station, Bromley Waitrose is next to the station. Admit it, you young people think CW is more metrosexual and thrusting, Bromley far too suburban. I see Tescos doesn't get a mention... But really you should be patronising local shops, not supermarkets.

Deptford Pudding said...

Beckenham Waitrose is next to the station, Bromley Waitrose is next to the station. Admit it, you young people think CW is more metrosexual and thrusting, Bromley far too suburban. I see Tescos doesn't get a mention... But really you should be patronising local shops, not supermarkets.

Headhunter said...

Wow! 3 posts - you must be angry! I do my veg shopping at Lewisham market on Saturdays and am (just about) a young person. Do I get a gold star?

Deptford Pudding said...

Sorry computer glitch, but yes I am angry. Supermarkets are evil.

drakefell debaser said...

For someone so angry about supermarkets, you sure know a lot about their location & proximity.

Deptford Pudding said...

Oh ha ha.

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