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The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy

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One of the most cherished beliefs of media planners, that attention is crucial, may not be right in all circumstances. This is particularly interesting when you bear in mind the hefty premium for attentive moments. A German researcher gave participants a long list of three letters: jrm, tws, bnm etc. Interspersed amongst them was 153. People were able to recall the one distinctive groupings than the letters.

Subvert category norms — ‘ Zig when others zag’ (as John Hegarty wrote). If major lager brands sponsor football, do something different. Distinctive work is more likely to come out a small number of decision-makers than a committee. Popular brands can become even more popular because their visibility provides a sense of social proof. It's important not to assume your scale is known. In contrast, ads watched in groups of three and six were reported to be 21% and 10%, funnier than those watched alone.AMV BBDO, Sainsbury’s creative agency, went to great lengths to dramatise the extent of sleep shopping. They hired a man dressed in a gorilla suit and sent him to a Sainsbury’s to do his week’s shopping. They questioned shoppes as they were leaving the store and a surprisingly low percentage had noticed him. When shoppers are on autopilot it’s hard to grab their attention. Adopt a softer approach — Get closer, but not too close — e.g. the ads could reference the local area. This helps build the trust gap (an IPSOS MORI survey revealed that 38% of people seldom or never trust advertising claims). Charitable ads in particular benefit from geographic localisation (the more you can make an individual feel responsibility, the greater the chance of them to act).

Summary of ‘The fearless organization’– Creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation and growth by AmyEdmondson When Labour supporters thought the policy came from their party there was strong support: 14% completely agreed. However, support plummeted to 3%, less than a quarter of the original level, when it was described as a Conservative proposal. Behavioural economics can be seen as a positive force or a negative one, where we unconsciously manipulate people into buying things they do not want or need.

A guide to your own mind, a roadmap of your blind spots, a toolkit for better advertising. The Choice Factory employs robust behavioral science in an approachable manner to demonstrate how you make and influence decisions. Synthesizing a vast body of research, live experiments and numerous examples, he shows that there is a bias for every occasion and how to use them as tools to craft better communications.

In THE CHOICE FACTORY Richard Shotton pays homage to the intrepid pioneers of Behavioural Economics, exploring the psychological shortcuts we (as makers of 35,000 daily decisions) take. The book contains 25 tight chapters, each covering a cognitive bias from mood to confirmation, media context to price. If each technique tells us the same story then we can give it greater credence. If they jar, then we need to generate a hypothesis to explain the contradiction. If you’re in the business of influencing people then Richard’s book is a must read. It provides a welter of practical advice on how behavioural science can be harnessed by businesses .For example, when we are biased against a specific outcome it forces some unexpected behaviours or outcomes. This might look like sacrificing a larger sales next month to hit this month’s bonus). You can hear Eva, one of your colleagues, before you see her. She’s going round the office jauntily shaking a collection tin. Eva’s drumming up sponsors for a marathon she’s running. Your colleagues are impressed by her altruism. But you’re not fooled, not for a second. It’s an obvious ploy to win popularity. Consumer behavior is a fascinating area of research. While people like to think they make objective decisions about what to buy or not buy, there are a lot of factors that influence those decisions such as description, price, ease of use and many more. And they influence you in ways that are not so obvious.… Read more »

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