A behavioural-led approach in your marketing will explain why people don’t buy your brand. 

It’s true.

A behavioural-led approach in marketing gives us an explanation as to why people continue to buy the same brand year after year when there are better options.

It also explains why a video of a gorilla playing the drums increased sales of chocolate bars, and why brands like Casper and Simba have become bed behemoths in just a few years.

What could a behavioural-led approach to you marketing achieve, especially once the lockdown is over and and many of our habits have changed?

Decision making is deeply psychological, and thus so is the process of selecting the brands, products and services we buy into.

As consumers we know our client’s customers are faced with an ever increasing selection of products and services, each claiming to be better than the last.

To evaluate their merit on features alone is beyond the cognitive means and patience of most of us – despite us often thinking otherwise!

We are therefore guided by what most of us would describe as gut feel or instinct; the benefit of behavioural-led marketing is it enables us as marketers to understand some of what is going on here.

This gut feeling obviously isn’t coming from our gut at all – it’s our brain subconsciously steering our decisions, and it is informed by over 170 cognitive biases and heuristics that shortcut us to the choices we make every day, good and bad.

Behavioural-led marketing drills deeper than traditional marketing to uncover the cognitive shortcuts that dictate someone buying or not buying your brand. It is built on the premise that understanding how these shortcuts inform your customers will enable you to:

Generate deeper insight

Identify the influences that affect people’s decisions towards businesses, brands and products.

Uncover bigger opportunities & growth

Uncover opportunities your competitors may not be exploiting. And grow by doubling down on the those that are uniquely ownable brand territories.

Impactful, effective creative

Aligns with rigorously proven insight into buying behaviour, giving your brand new, ownable creative territories to explore and ensuring these better connect with your audience.

Client Case Study

Retailer bucks the trend in tough times with behavioural-led creative

For Sharps Bedrooms, we introduced an anchor into their most recent TV ad, in the form of an overflowing, slightly not-space-optimising freestanding wardrobe. This allowed us to pick our fight and frame the competition, not as a cheaper but still suitable alternative, but the constant eyesore in their otherwise lovely room. We told consumers that only a Sharps wardrobe could give them “up to twice as much hidden space as freestanding wardrobes”.  This fundamental change of adding an anchor proved to be fantastically successful. In fact, they saw a year on year increase from the last quarter with the old ads of 7.4% against a backdrop of struggling competitors and a high street that was in decline.

Some other examples

Coffee producers change the comparison set to make higher priced coffee seem good value

A half kilo bag of Nespresso coffee would cost  a whopping £35 – even Waitrose most expensive bag can’t top that at £14. However, you can’t buy a bag of Nespresso, because it comes in those little pods that cost 47p each. Since each of these pods gives you a cup serving of barista quality coffee the comparison set changes from bags of coffee on a supermarket shelf to Costa or Caffe Nero. Suddenly, 47p for a pod of Lungo feels remarkably good value compared to £3 for a flat white.  Read more in this article by behavioural scientist and author Richard Shotton.


Insurance companies net millions leveraging defaults and status quo

New research from insurance comparison site GoCompare has found that three million motorists are overpaying on their car insurance by a collective £800m because they allow their policies to renew automatically. Our tendency for things to stay as they are and choose the route of least resistance leads to a so-called “loyalty tax” of £260 each per year.


A car maker sells 5X more than its rival by being bizarre

In 2007 two Japanese car giants were selling competing hybrid vehicles; Toyota had its Prius and Honda its Civic Hybrid. Why did Toyota shift 181,221 units to Honda’s 32,575? Because the Prius was bizarre, and 57% of people who bought it said their main reason for doing so was because ‘it makes a statement about me’.

If you enjoyed this blog you might also be interested in our insight and trend reports.

By James Ballinger

Board Director