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The Experience Brands Weekly #183

The English Question

As the World Cup looms large, Brexit continues to rumble on and Nicola Sturgeon talks about another Scottish independence referendum, it got us thinking about identity in the UK. Do we identify as British or are our English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish roots more important to our personal identities?

Recent research from commissioned by the BBC from YouGov surveyed 20,000 people across the UK to find out which identities we see as most important, focusing particularly on residents of England and the differences between English identity and that of the rest of the UK. Amongst residents on England, 80% identify strongly as English, and 82% identify strongly as British, however while the strength of the British identity remains consistent across generations, and other demographics including politics, education, class and geography, English identity is much more variable. Amongst young people, English pride is only at 45%, compared 72% of older people. Conservative voters are much more likely to identify as English – 77% compared to 45% of Labour voters and 42% of Lib Dem voters. Not surprisingly, Leave supporters are also much more likely to strongly identify as English compared to Remain voters. People who identify as British more strongly than English consider the diversity of the country to be much more important than those who favour an English identity. It seems while the British identity is inclusive, an English one tends to be more exclusive.



When compared to those who identify as Welsh, Scottish, or Norther Irish, the English are more nostalgic and pessimistic about the future – while people from the other nation states think the best years are yet to come, the English tend to believe the best years are behind us. The English identity is much more conservative and traditional, rooted in the past rather than looking forward. Scottish residents no matter what age strongly identify as Scottish (over 80% across all age groups) while the Welsh identity gets stronger as age decreases. The multiple identities of UK residents are a changing picture – shifting between borders, age and rural and urban divides. For brands who celebrate their British, English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish roots these nuances are key to shaping consumer perceptions.


Other Bites:

Ford: WheelSwap

Ford have created a VR experience which convinced 91% of drivers and cyclists to change their behaviour by transporting them into the perspective of the other road-user. Hopefully helping to reduce the number of accidents by helping us to see life through someone else’s eyes.



Asics: Blackout Track

Asics are highlighting the importance of mental strength to runners by creating the ‘Blackout Track’ – a running track with all distractions removed, reducing the running experience to just you and the track.



Walmart: Jet Black

Walmart have launched an AI-powered personal shopping service that lets you place orders by text. For $50 a month whatever you order will be delivered as soon as possible on the same day. You can request specific products, or ask for more general items, like a birthday gift and a combination of Walmart buyers and AI will deliver recommendations for you to choose from.