How behavioural design guides brand interactions

3 min read
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In the world of advertising, there is a powerful approach that goes beyond traditional messaging and persuasion techniques. It's called behavioural economics, and it leverages the principles of nudge theory to create impactful campaigns that influence people's actions. In this blog post, we'll explore a slight amend to this – behavioural design — what it is, why it's different and how you can use it creatively in your own work.

Understanding Behavioural Design in Advertising

At its core, behavioral design is about designing campaigns that guide individuals along a journey. Instead of simply trying to persuade people, behavioral design focuses on encouraging them to take a specific action. This approach taps into the concept that once people take an action, they are more likely to justify and value that action. It's a way of turning the tables on traditional thinking and aligning behavioral science with advertising.

Matchmaking, Not Convincing

Behavioral design takes a matchmaking approach rather than trying to convince someone. It's about identifying the needs of individuals and aligning them with the services a brand offers. By understanding the concepts of system one and system two thinking, where system one seeks immediate direction and system two engages in strategic decision-making, behavioral design recognizes the power of simplicity and action-oriented messaging in capturing attention and driving engagement.

Why Use Behavioural Design in Advertising?

Behavioral design works because it taps into the human tendency to rationalize our actions. When someone takes an action, they become invested and feel the need to justify that investment. This approach bypasses the noise created by system two advertising and messaging, offering a powerful tool for brand building. It's a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level and influencing their perceptions and behaviors.

Examples of Behavioural Design in Action

One compelling example of behavioral design is beer 52, a craft beer subscription service in the UK. While some may argue whether it's "good," it undeniably employs effective behavioral design. Subscribers often find it challenging to cancel their subscription due to the intricately designed funnel. By understanding the principles of behavioral design, brands can create similar effective strategies that lead to desired actions and outcomes.

Using Behavioural Design Creatively

To incorporate behavioral design into your own work, consider a three-stage process: give, celebrate, and ask. Start by offering something of value to your consumers, something they need and want. Celebrate their engagement and make them feel part of a community or movement. Then, strategically ask for their input, participation, or action. By repeating this cycle, you can guide your audience through a meaningful and engaging journey.

Behavioural design is a powerful approach in advertising that taps into human psychology to influence actions and build strong connections between brands and consumers. By understanding the principles behind behavioural science and using a matchmaking mindset, you can create campaigns that resonate, encourage engagement, and inspire lasting brand loyalty.

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