Britain’s Digital Families

Britain’s Digital Families help companies better understand their customers and how to serve them.
Consumer companies must understand the digital families they are targeting to increase competitive advantage and thrive in the digital age
Deborah O'Neill, Partner, Oliver Wyman Labs and Financial Services

We analysed survey data from over 1,500 respondents in our Britain’s Digital DNA research to profile the digital families that make up Britain today.

The results show a quarter (24 percent) are comfortable with the pace of digital change and innovation and are Laidback Luis, while 19 percent are Anxious Andersons. The remaining families are the Carefree Careys (15 percent), the Online Owens (15 percent), the Contributing Coles (15 percent), and the least digitally savvy of all: the Analogue Alis (12 percent).

By understanding which digital family your customers fall in to – particularly your most valuable ones – your digital strategy can be modified to better serve their particular needs. The full report gives detailed descriptions of the families and gives examples of adaptations that suit each family's online preferences.

Britain’s Digital Families: Implications for consumer businesses


Meet the Anxious Andersons

19 percent of the UK are Anxious Andersons. They are defenders of privacy, concerned about cybercrime, and willing to go ‘off-the-grid’ to keep their data protected.

When interacting with the Anxious Andersons, business should be extra careful to limit the information the collect to a minimum, and transparently explain what is being recorded and why it is needed. They must avoid blurring the line between customer service and marketing.


Deborah O’Neill Answers 3 Questions
  • 1Why is understanding Britain’s Digital Families important for businesses?

    When defining their digital strategies, a business should consider which digital families they are trying to reach. They also need to understand the risks to their business if a family becomes side-lined or aliened through the approach they take.

  • 2Is one implication that businesses need six versions of their website, one for each family?

    These findings are a reminder that a greater diversity of solutions are needed to serve consumers online. A holistic view of each family’s needs could give insights otherwise missed by a more “one size fits all” approach. For some families, simple changes to websites – such as easy access to help sections – can make the difference to increase engagement.

  • 3Are the business implications the same across different consumer industries?

    Implications will vary by industry. For example, banks can cut operating costs by moving customers to self-serve online, so it is in their best interest to reassure the Anxious Andersons that it is safe to bank online. In contrast, supermarkets don’t need to convert the Anxious Andersons into online shoppers, because they don’t make any more profit serving customers online than they do in their existing store.