Breaking the habit code

Franck Sarrazit and Gerardo Fuksman
TNS Brand & Communications

Cliché and neuroscience agree: Human beings are indeed creatures of habit – and that has big implications for brand strategies.

"Most of the time, what we do, is what we do most of the time". This statement from the psychologists Townsend and Bever captures one of the great truisms of human behaviour – and one of the great challenges for marketers. We know that we are, in the well-worn phrase, 'creatures of habit.' We know that those habits can shape the fortunes of brands and products. Yet benefiting from a habit is one thing; knowing how to create or change it is something else entirely. As neuroscience reveals more about what habits are, and how they come to direct our behaviour, it's becoming clear that marketers cannot afford to leave habit forming to chance.