Influencing Consumer Behavior: The Power of Behavior Design in Marketing

Behavior Design is the use of behavioral and neurological science to influence consumer behavior. Take this example: Google “watches” right now and check the images. What do you see?

Almost all of them display the time ’10:09′. Why?

Is it because it looks like a smiley face? Is it because it frames the logo? There are many hypotheses, but it all comes down to behavior design.

The marketing team of these companies use cardinal orientation (the idea that people are quicker and more accurate at discriminating the orientation of a line when it is at or near vertical or horizontal then when it is at an oblique orientation) to get you to stop and look at the watch for longer, perhaps triggering an emotional state of mind that gets you more interested in the product.

Behavior design builds on marketing to influence the hearts and minds of consumers. Finding ways to activate the hearts and the minds of your consumers is beneficial to your brand for 4 reasons:

  • More sales – activating an emotional state of mind increases persuasion
  • Fewer returns – people in who are activated are more confident and happier about their purchases
  • Higher satisfaction and repeat business – people have better experiences in environments that have been psychologically or behaviorally triggered
  • More engagement – consumers understand the product better because behavior design taps into the unconscious mind.

Take the following study as an example. A sample of Endocrinologists were asked what their patients should do if they have been diagnosed with Diabetes. All of the Endocrinologists in the study mentioned eating better and exercising as two very important lifestyle factors that should be implemented.

Later in the study, these same Endocronologists were placed in a room with multiple platters of fruits and veegtables, as well as a tray of brownies. Sans exception, every respondent went for a brownie.

 When the tables were turned, they were unable to follow their own advice. This tactic was used as a way to increase empathy towards their patients, allowing these respondents to take a walk in their patients’ shoes. Tapping into the mindset of their patients will in turn help influence their behavior.

Take marketing one step further with behavior design in order to tap into your consumer’s goals and motivations in order to effectively influence their behavior.

Source: Marketing to Mindstates by Will Leach  

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