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A load of BS

One of my favourite podcasts is A Load of BS, in which Daniel Ross talks with people within and adjacent to behavioural science community.

By adjacent, I mean Monty Python's John Cleese, for example, talking about creativity, and Dr Dimitri Xygalatas on rituals like body piercing and Nazi parades.

He's also interviewed advertising luminaries like Dave Trott and Sir Martin Sorrell, and behavioural science experts like Nir Eyal, Dilip Soman and Nina Mazar.

So I was rapt to be invited onto his...

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Using punishment to change behaviour

 

 

Imagine you have a shop on the high street that is opposite a pub.

When you get to work in the morning the distinctly unpleasant stench of urine is there to greet you and your customers. Yuck!

You decide enough is enough, creating a sign like you spotted in San Francisco.

Here you are using the fear of public shaming to stop people peeing — threatening to post footage to YouTube so the pee-perpetrator will be embarrassed. 

Your neighbour, Jill, is also sick of the pee and...

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Expecting customers to fail

Lifesum is a diet App in Sweden that allows users an occasional “cheat meal” — something like pizza or a burger — without disrupting their progress.

So popular was this product tweak that take-up almost doubled.

That’s what habit specialist Samuel Salzer shared in his talk “The Science Behind Habit-Forming Tech, explaining that designing for “failure states” can improve user and business outcomes. 

From streak to bleak

We know that ...

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Stakeholder Matrix

 

Ever find yourself dealing with a "squeaky wheel"?

You know, that person who soaks up an inordinate amount of your time because they need more attention, more information or more platitudes?

It's easy to get sucked into managing their demands even when doing so doesn't really help you deliver your project or proposal.

For that reason, it's a good idea to map out who your stakeholders are and how significant their support is to your success.


Stakeholder Matrix

In this video I explain a...

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Where use of behavioural economics goes wrong

 

There are three stages of using behavioural economics. In this video behavioural expert Bri Williams explains the one thing successful businesses do differently, how to move through each stage, and what to do at the critical juncture where you'll either succeed or fail.


We talk about different stages of grief and different stages of learning. Well in my experience, there are different stages of behavioural economics, too.

By the end of this video you’ll know the one thing...

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Dealing with Painful People

 

How to deal with painful people using behavioural science.

Behavioural expert Bri Williams takes you through the three types of painful people you are likely to encounter in business: People pleasers, Know it alls and Obstinates.

People pleasers bulldust, Know it Alls bamboozle and Obstinates bulldoze!

The transcript and full video is available exclusively to Just Do This members. Find out more here.

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You might also find interesting:

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How uncertainty impacts customer behaviour

 

Consumers want certainty. That seems to be the prevailing assumption when it comes to influencing customer behaviour. In times of great uncertainty, so the story goes, people crave stability and become more risk averse. 

Not so fast.

Here are four ways certainty - or lack thereof - impacts your customers.

Because while the likelihood of something happening does impact customer decisions, what decision is made depends on whether the outcome is likely to be positive or negative. ...

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Five pitfalls of behavioural economics

 

There is plenty of upside in applying behavioural science, but there are five pitfalls that you should know about too. 

In this video I’m going to take you through the 5 pitfalls of behavioural economics, and how to avoid them.

Pitfall #1. Thinking it only applies to customers

Behavioural economics is the study of how emotional, social and cognitive biases and heuristics impact behaviour. 

Behaviour is the operative word here, because the same forces that impact your...

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Influencing mistakes that are easy to make and to fix

The more you learn about behavioural techniques, the more you'll see how businesses are trying to influence you.

Sometimes they do it poorly, sometimes they do it well.

If you're reading this, I expect you are in a business wanting to do it well?

So let's dive into a couple of examples that caught my eye recently.

 

What Greg got wrong

Here's a LinkedIn invitation I recently received from Greg.

What did Greg get wrong?

A couple of things.

I liked that Greg mentioned what type of...

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Are personality profiling tools worth it?

 

I posted something that was a little critical of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and, oh. my. goodness!  

It was an excerpt from Lisa Feldman Barrett’s excellent book, “71/2 lessons about the brain” which suggested that…

“You can’t measure behaviour by asking people about their behaviour”.

And “Why do the test results seem so true when you receive them? Because the test asks what you believe about yourself.”

The reaction,...

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