General Assembly: The new creative revolution

Last week, BrocklebankPenn attended a talk at Second Home by Thomas Cornwall, director at creative behavioural practice Behave. Speaking about Behavioural Science and Thinking, it’s a field of research producing creative innovations that are simple, straightforward, and as a result, enormously effective.

Stressful commute? Play classical music on the platforms. Loud patrons leaving the pub? Hand out lollipops. Encourage exercise? Create an interactive piano staircase. Societies are already incorporating behavioural thinking to affect positive behaviour change, which builds on the idea of thinking small, rather than doing more with more.

So how do we encourage our clients to be efficient and think small?

Examining what helps people make decisions, Thomas presented seven principles of changing behaviour. Entitled ‘CHOICES’, it’s not about offering a multitude of options, but rather reframing what people perceive as available to them. As marketers, we would do well to take these into consideration when encouraging potential customers to choose our brands.

1. Certainty – We trust the known

When making a decision, we’re assessing potential pleasure vs. pain, and uncertainty equals the latter. With Uber for example, you know the driver, how far away they are, and that others trust them through their rating.

2. Herd – We can be easily influenced

How can you persuade people to share their rooms, their cars and their food? Potentially an odd concept to begin, the impact of the sharing economy has been positive and far-reaching. People will be influenced by the masses and accept and adopt certain behaviours because of it, hence the success of brands like Airbnb.

3. Options – How we perceive options

Choice architecture sets expectations, and people work well with parameters. Why would you choose a restaurant where you’re crammed onto benches with complete strangers and food is served at random times? Yet Wagamama ensures you perceive this as a ‘traditional way to eat’, so it’s part of the experience.

4. Involvement – We want to be a part of something

People respond to a sense of community and inclusivity. Engaging with customers, allowing them to feel included and encouraging participation creates brand trust and affinity. Borrowmydoggy.com brings people together with dogs, building a community as a consequence.

5. Commitment – It’s a two way street

Brand loyalty is as much about rational drivers as it is emotive. Brands such as Amazon Prime offer free next-day delivery for premium membership, rewarding their customers for committing with practical benefits.

6. Emotions – We are human after all

Understanding your customer and how they’re emotionally involved with your brand is hugely important. By tapping into the unpredictable and emotive needs of customers, you create engagement. Dove is a classic example, connecting on an emotive level by speaking to consumers as human beings.

7. Simplicity – Life is complicated

Make things easier and more straightforward for people and they will respond in kind with consumption, affinity and loyalty. Stack Magazines sends a different independent magazine every month, providing entertainment and a good read, while removing the choice dilemma.

By knowing more about how people make decisions, brands can help change behaviour for the better, and CHOICES can help frame our thinking when we address customer needs. At BrocklebankPenn, we know that small solutions can have a large impact, and be more effective and efficient in the process: change doesn’t need to be huge to be groundbreaking.