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Behavioural insight

Brands are increasingly interested in forms of behavioural insight, as marketers look for ways to influence consumer behaviour as well as attitudes. Behavioural economics, for example, is one of the most prominent areas of behavioural research. It claims to explain patterns of customer behaviour and can provide valuable insights for marketers. Behavioural economics has been applied successfully by several governments, though examples of successful commercial application by brands arguably remain relatively rare.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This article demonstrates how behavioural economics is being employed to improve public and business policies. It shows how governments are using robust experiments, seeing success in areas including energy savings, pensions enrolment and encouraging job seekers back to work.
An exclusive series explaining common concepts in behavioural economics.
The difference between rational and impulsive decisions – and why most decision making is impulsive.
Mark Earls and Alex Bentley discuss why humans are social animals, who learn by copying others.
Why brands with an 'instant meaning' – from experience, imagery or associations – will be more successful.

Case Study

This case study shows how Persil, a detergent brand, renewed its core values in a bold campaign that successfully increased its sales in the UK.

Case Study

This case study describes how the Melbourne Film Festival used previous festival-goers to create content to bring new visitors to the Australian event.

Case Study

This case study explains how UAE telecoms operator, du, used online ads to change people's behaviour on social media by warning them about oversharing.

Case Study

This case study shows how The Heart Foundation, a heart disease research foundation, raised awareness about the symptoms of heart attacks in New Zealand, by gamifying the experience on social media.

Case Study

This case study explores how The Legacy Store Berlin, a graffiti culture and art tools shop, launched a national campaign to turn messages of hate into messages of joy through artists.

Case Study

This case study describes how US appliances manufacturer Whirlpool built on its Every day, care campaign to create the Care Counts programme, which installed washers and dryers in schools to give disadvantaged students access to laundry facilities to boost attendance rates.
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Article

This event report explores a method of brand tracking that uses behavioural science to establish three key metrics through which you can analyse a brand's current mental availability, future brand share, and the effectiveness of brand assets.

Article

This article explains the lessons from behavioural science about the formation of habits and lists six strategies that marketers can employ to build, maintain and disrupt consumer habits.

Research Paper

This paper looks at the potential insights that can be gained from confronting the data gathered through machine learning with behavioural science principles.

Research Paper

This paper examines the effectiveness of survey gamification techniques in Asia to see how cultural differences affect the way people play the games.

Article

This article looks at how communicators can use the ubiquity of mobile to reach people in the micro-moment of decision-making, enabling them to motivate and facilitate behaviour change and improving the lives of individuals and of society.

Research Paper

This article examines how marketers can best study brand decision journeys, emphasising how critical it is to take into account product categories, as there are important differences between these that affect many aspects of the consumer journey.
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  1. Article

    This article examines how marketers can best study brand decision journeys, emphasising how critical it is to take into account product categories, as there are important differences between these that affect many aspects of the consumer journey.

  2. Article

    This article looks at the processes through which people make decisions, often sub-conscious, instinctive and driven by bias, and how to work with these processes effectively.

  3. Article

    This article considers best practices for not only providing consumers with products but with experiences that reflect the values, interests, and benefits of the brand in a way that is relevant and engaging.

  4. Article

    This article demonstrates how advertisers can remove the emotional barriers that affect decision-making and encourage behaviour change that will promote better health.

  5. Article

    This article provides marketers with information and guidance about using behavioural economics (BE) to inform marketing strategies.

  6. Article

    This article discusses various approaches used by marketers to understand what consumers want.

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