Understanding the Purple Pound Market

Purple View Point

Purple believe disability is a commercial opportunity for businesses. The Purple Pound equates to £249 billion a year to the UK economy but yet very few businesses have direct strategies to tap into this consumer market. But the benefits of doing so are clear. Accessing a new and relatively untouched market can have a positive effect on your bottom line. We know disability and wider diversity and inclusion issues are a key factor in driving brand loyalty. And good businesses reflect in their workforce their broad consumer base so by definition if businesses are selling products and services to disabled people, over time they will also be looking to recruit talented disabled employees. The Purple Pound is therefore important to both addressing the consumer and employment business agendas.


The Purple Pound refers to the spending power of disabled households which is defined as a household in which at least one of the members have reported a disability. The key stand out statistics are as follows:

  • More than 1 in 5 potential UK consumers are disabled
  • The number of disabled people in the UK is increasing – from 11.9 million (in 2014) to 13.3 million
  • The prevalence of disability rises with age
  • 3 in 4 disabled people and their families have walked away from a UK business citing poor accessibility and/or poor customer service
  • Nearly three quarters of disabled online consumers will click away from a website due to inaccessibility.

Advice & Guidance

  • Involve the right people and departments in your business. This must include those with responsibility for marketing your products and services
  • If you undertake market research activity – however informal or formal – consider extending these activities to include disabled consumers
  • Make sure you have the basics in place whether that is in terms of online accessibility, accessible communications and/or the physical environment
  • See the disabled person first and foremost as a consumer and apply the same principles as you would to any target group
  • Ensure disability is an integral part of your customer services training for staff – whether it is on-the-job training or more formal training and development opportunities
  • Remember that good service travels fast and bad service travels even faster! Disabled people and their families have a higher level of brand loyalty than the average customer
  • Send a signal to your Board, staff, customers and supply chain by signing up to the Government’s Disability Confident accreditation scheme and make a commitment to the recruitment and retention of disabled people as employees

Sign up to Purple’s #helpmespendmymoney charter for change campaign by clicking here.

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