The Social Incentive bias explains the positive impact that being part of a society can have on an individual. Our general desire to be liked and accepted by our peers can alter our behaviour significantly. Unsurprisingly, people are more likely to drop litter, commit a crime or cheat if they are on their own. But as soon as people are in a group, they are more concerned about the negative social impact of doing something wrong, so their behaviour improves.

Is it a bird? No. It’s Barclays Digital Eagles.

Barclays wanted to have the most digitally savvy team in the UK. But, their iPads and Wi-Fi placed in every store weren’t being used. So, they set up their Digital Eagles programme, which equipped 16,000 of their 45,000 staff with tech knowledge and skills.

They were then armed with enough expertise to teach the public some useful skills, holding coding sessions for parents and children, and “Tea and Teach” sessions for the older generation. In just two years, the number of customers who only interact digitally has risen from 2% to 13%. So, the inclusive society and feeling of being similar to peers paid off for Barclays.

Barclays Digital Eagles, Social Incentive
Barclays Digital Eagles

Wake up, smell the coffee, save 50p.

Pret a Manger introduced an exclusive discount in an attempt to tackle the plastic pollution problem that’s playing on most people’s minds. Knocking 50p off the order of every customer sporting a reusable cup, consumers could show they care with one simple gesture, gaining the respect of others.

Pret A Manger, Recycling, Social Incentive
Pret A Manger logo

What is Behavioural Economics?

Behavioural Economics has been around since the 60s. It blends elements of psychology and economics to identify the mental triggers, or bias, nudges and heuristics, that affect the decisions people make.

This blog series is your go-to guide for a snapshot into what these triggers are, and how they can be used in marketing to influence consumer behaviour.

A bit about us

As an agency, influencing behaviours is core to what we do and applying Behavioural Economics to marketing communications is a natural progression. If you are interested in understanding more about how we do this get in touch now.

Find out more about the connection between consumers and behavioural economics in our latest report on the top trends driving consumer behaviour. Download it here.

By Phil Monks

Deputy Creative Director