I had the opportunity to attend the Behavioural Science Summit 2023, an event that brought together the worlds of psychology and consumer behaviour. The summit’s primary focus was implicit research and intervention design. It shed light on the vast applications of behavioural science in understanding how consumers make decisions. Here’s a time-saving summary with my key highlights:
Behavioural science’s real-world magic
Behavioural science models are more than just academic concepts; they’re key to understanding how consumers tick in the real world. Throughout the summit, various models showcased their real-world applicability. This underscored the significance of experimental and control methodologies in comprehending consumer behaviour.
Sustainable and human-centred approaches aren’t just buzzwords—they’re essential ingredients for designing strategies that truly resonate with today’s consumers.
Did you know that negative campaigns have more impact based on facial coding tests? The session by the Consumer Council for Water analysed effective campaign strategies for water conservation, with a fresh perspective on designing campaigns for behavioural change in water consumption patterns.
Bridging the gap between beliefs and actions
The summit shed light on the complex dynamics of consumer decision-making. It emphasized the importance of aligning brand values with consumer and environmental benefits; again, with a strong focus on sustainability. Addressing the gap between consumer values and behaviours is a top priority, along with a strong emphasis on responsible consumerism and ecological conservation.
BCW Movatory shared results from a global study. It highlighted how shared values can bridge generational gaps. Benevolence and care emerged as universal values. The presentation also addressed the Say-do gap, emphasizing the importance of aligning actions with values.
Harnessing behavioural science’s versatility
From the aisles of consumer goods to the realms of water conservation, this summit’s diverse presentations were a testament to the transformative power of behavioural science. It was an opportunity to dive deep into how this science can shape consumer choices and nurture responsible, sustainable behaviours across the spectrum.
For example, WWF introduced the “Eat4Change” campaign, which advocates for sustainable eating habits among young adults. The insights from the COM-B method and implicit testing revealed the concept of “meat masculinity” and offered strategies for effective messaging to promote sustainable food choices.
Some other of my highlights come from: Google emphasising the significance of cognitive shortcuts in shaping consumer choices in a competitive market; DFS exploring the complexities of in-store design and its impact on consumer attention and decision-making; and Reckitt’s tangible benefits of behavioural interventions, demonstrating a substantial reduction in Covid cases through successful efforts to promote hand-washing behaviours in Italian schools.
The Behavioural Science Summit 2023 offered a vibrant tapestry of wisdom and real-world applications, weaving together psychology and consumer behaviour. Some of the recurring themes were sustainability, value alignment, and human centricity. It was an opportunity to further understand that behavioural science can be the compass that can navigate the intricate maze of consumer choices, steering us towards responsible and sustainable behaviours.