This is perhaps one of the best and simplest description of how to achieve effective behaviour change through social marketing. In my work with many health promotion organizations and brands, it reflects an overall philosophy that is about reducing the barriers to change, and using genuine insights about how people think and act.
As laid out beautifully in this little story, three simple steps are needed:
1. you need to show people the path. What’s the end goal that they need to reach
2. you need to motivate people to want to take the journey toward change
3. And most importantly, you need to remove the barriers to change
Without tackling all these in parallel, successful change becomes less likely. These three steps work together in careful harmony, yet many organizations sometimes struggle to see how they work together. Often this can result in an over-emphasis on awareness building, or alternatively, an over-emphasis on tactics.
Ultimately you need to appeal to people’s emotions, and then work hard to remove the barriers along the way. One without the other dramatically reduces your chances of long term success
As always, people need to feel first before they’ll do something. Emotion first, action second.
When you take the time to understand what makes people tick, find a genuine connection to your brand/ organization or stand for something bigger than yourself, you’re halfway there. Here’s a few stand-out examples.
Lurpak – a simple brand of butter became the champion of good food
Omega Co-Axial Chronometer – took my breath away the first time I saw it
Bald Cartoons – proof that truly creative ideas matter, with the power to help make the world a little better
HBO GO – the perfect demonstration of why a truly great insight makes the difference
The world’s toughest job
Save the Children – not your typical “one second a day” video
Waitrose – the story of a boy and his carrot
Three – ending on a happy note, the sillyness of the internet captured through the freedom of a spring ride on a bike
It’s been a while, but here’s a few stories, ideas and links that have grabbed my attention over the last little while
1. A great little nudge that could help change behaviour by changing habits. Called Car Mode, it’s a brilliantly simple concept that I hope Apple will embrace and make happen.
2. A lovely idea from Ikea and their agency (SMFB) in Oslo. The “Built to Last” campaign helps to overcome the perception that their furniture is tasteful but cheap, while also communicating a positive sustainability message.
3. A bit of fun from Ellen in honour of The Great American Smokeout.
4. A new series of blog posts from The Guardian on the science behind behaviour change. Via the Guardian Sustainable Business division
5. A beautifully illustrated version of the Terry Gross interview with Maurice Sendak not long before his death.
6. This is a short but wonderful article again from The Guardian about the importance of harnessing passion and emotion, and driving it toward action. Life will always get in the way, so we must always help people navigate through the day to day challenges they face, and make the desired behaviour as easy as possible. We must shrink the change at all costs.
7. Wonderful video by GoldieBlox that is popping up on news feeds everywhere. They make engineering toys for girls.
8. A random bit of brilliance from Banksy that packs a punch – Sirens of the Lambs
9. More great storytelling from Google – as always, a reminder of the irresistible power of a good story.
Apple provides a simple lesson in the power of social proof. Coming under increasing competition from competitors like Android, they are celebrating a core strength of their brand. Here they remind us that “every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone then any other camera”. Not just phones, but any other camera. That simple statement grounded in fact is incredibly persuasive. We’re influenced by what we think everyone else is doing – so if you already have an iPhone, you feel rewarded. And if you don’t, you can’t help but wonder why. It’s human nature to want to do what everyone else is doing (even though we don’t like to admit it).
Health promoters and social marketers could do well to consider more opportunities to leverage the power of social norms in their communication strategies. For example, if only more people (e.g. students) knew that binge drinking was not the norm at their university – imagine the good that could come from it.