How To Build A Website Based On Behavioral Design

How To Build A Website Based On Behavioral Design

If you’re in the world of design, you likely know that customer experience and user experience is critical. Whether you’re designing an interactive art exhibit or building a small business website, it’s important to understand the entire experience and thoughtfully design it so that it’s usable and easy and connects with your customers.

As the founder of a behavioral design consultancy firm, I believe if you want to nail customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) with any experience, the key is utilizing behavioral design. But first, it's important to understand the keyword in both CX and UX: experience. I think of an experience as a series of peak moments. When you design for these peak moments, you can create an experience that is engaging and memorable.

How to Win the Bachelorette Using Mindstates, Part 2: The Men

How to Win the Bachelorette Using Mindstates, Part 2: The Men

Well, there you have it: America’s sweetheart Hannah Beast chose to give Jed the final rose, he proposed, and they’ll assumedly live happily ever after. We were left in suspense after the first half of the finale gave us a new vision for “windmills” (and spawned a thousand tweets about dog food jingles) but failed to crown a winner. Hannah and Jed appear happy together, but who knows where things will end up after all that's happened this season. Would anybody be surprised if next week’s tabloids had pictures of Peter and Hannah snuggled up? 

But for now, Hannah has given her heart to Jed. Did Hannah’s decision come as a shock to you? Well, if you read the first article in this series, it shouldn’t have been too shocking that Jed won, as he did the best job of appealing to Hannah’s Optimistic Achievement mindstate throughout the season. This made him more appealing to Hannah on a psychological level and ultimately earned him the final rose.

For those who missed the first article or are new to this concept, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind that finds us under high emotional arousal, relying more on subconscious factors, and therefore more susceptible to influence. We previously discussed how, given her background, Hannah is driven by the achievement motivation, which I define as “the feeling of being successful, victorious, and proud by overcoming obstacles.” How she approaches her goals (her regulatory approach) is with an optimistic focus, meaning she’s not afraid to take big risks to get what she wants.

I want to take a look at how Jed appealed to Hannah’s specific subconscious mindstate throughout the season, but first, we need to talk about Luke P. How did a guy who is so clearly unhinged manage to stick around for as long as he did, even coming back from elimination? Let’s dig into it. 

How to Win the Bachelorette Using Mindstates, Part 1: Hannah Brown

How to Win the Bachelorette Using Mindstates, Part 1: Hannah Brown

With Game of Thrones ended, the American public has now turned its attention to the second greatest television series of the past decade plus: The Bachelor! What started as a scripted (ahem, “reality”) dating show in 2002 has spawned two spinoffs: Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelorette, which started its 15th season on May 13.

Like every season, this year’s crop of hunky, love-hungry, and attention-starved men will compete for the affection of Hannah Brown, this season’s bachelorette. During the first episode, you’ll see contestants ride up on horses, dress as knights, wear funny masks, or try out cringeworthy one-liners to make a good first impression.

But what if these extravagant gestures were totally unnecessary? What if you could win the heart of the bachelorette simply by knowing her mindstate? For those new to this concept, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind that finds us under high emotional arousal, relying more on nonconscious factors, and more susceptible to influence.

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part III: Daenerys Targaryen

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part III: Daenerys Targaryen

At long last, the show that’s been eight years in the making reached its conclusion this past Sunday with a surprising and somewhat controversial series finale. Regardless of how you felt about the way Game of Thrones ended, we now know who will rule over the seven—excuse me, six—kingdoms and what characters made it out alive.

A few weeks ago, if I was a betting man, I would’ve placed a large (losing) bet on Cersei Lannister being the one to sit on the Iron Throne. Crushed by a cave-in, are you kidding me? Who could’ve even seen that coming? Furthermore, who could’ve anticipated the Mother of Dragons turning heel and killing thousands to finally reach the throne?

Well, if you had looked at Daenerys Taragaryen’s mindstate, it could’ve been you.

In the final installment of the three-part series where we’ve used Game of Thrones to understand mindstate marketing, we’re going to focus on the breaker of chains herself, Daenerys Taragaryen, and how she was psychologically driven throughout the series by another of our more prevalent mindstates: the optimistic achievement mindstate.

What Road Trips Can Teach You About Your Consumers' Subconscious Choices

What Road Trips Can Teach You About Your Consumers' Subconscious Choices

As a frequent speaker on applying neurological and behavioral science to marketing, I often get asked some version of the following question: “Why do people make this stuff so difficult to understand and explain?”

I totally get it. As the CEO of a behavioral research and design consultancy that helps brands understand and change consumer behavior, I’ve become adept at integrating behavioral science and psychology into creative analogies.

But it wasn’t always that way. When I started my journey into understanding human decision making, I muddled through academic journals and brand consultant decks, trying to make sense of jargon like “hyperbolic discounting” and “framing effect.” I tried to boil down these heady, theoretical concepts and present them in an approachable way, but I often saw glazed eyes on every audience member who heard my presentation. They couldn’t make sense of what I was saying or see how it could help them psychologically optimize their marketing.

So, I kept working. After a year, I had an epiphany one summer afternoon while planning a road trip with my son. What I realized is that we can better understand consumer decision making — and even learn to influence it — by looking at it as the planning of a family road trip.

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part II: Cersei Lannister

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part II: Cersei Lannister

With the Battle of Winterfell behind us and Starbucks making its presence felt in this week’s episode, the final season of Game of Thrones is taking shape. As we near the finish line, it’s becoming clear that the three main contenders for the Iron Throne are Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen, all of whom are still alive.

On a show that has no problem killing off characters—be it an entire Dothraki hoard or Leanna Mormont, the baddest 13-year-old queen to ever rule—nothing is ever certain, but it does appear likely that Jon, Cersei, or Daenerys will be the last one standing.

This article is the second in our series of looking at behavioral psychology through the lens of Game of Thrones characters. Last month, we saw how Jon Snow exemplifies the Cautious Belonging mindstate and the impact it had on his decision-making.

In this installment, we turn our attention to the manipulating, evil Cersei Lannister, who embodies the Optimistic Empowerment mindstate. In case you missed the first article, let’s start with a brief mindstate primer before diving into Cersei’s twisted story.

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part I: Jon Snow

Using Game of Thrones to Understand Mindstate Marketing, Part I: Jon Snow

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know we’re about to start the final season of one of the most popular TV series ever: Game of Thrones. Since the show’s debut in 2011, we’ve watched heroes and villains play a sophisticated game of chess to win the Iron Throne. This month, we’ll begin the final season to answer that question.

Aside from the rush we’ll all get from watching this play out, what can we as marketers learn about behavioral psychology from the key characters in the game?

Specifically, how to drive consumer behavior—otherwise known as mindstate marketing.

In this article, the first of an ongoing series, we’ll look at how Jon Snow, arguably the most beloved character in Game of Thrones, exemplifies the Cautious Belonging mindstate.

Building a Behaviorally Designed Brand from Scratch

Building a Behaviorally Designed Brand from Scratch

As the founder of a behavioral research and design consultancy, I spend most of my days thinking about behavior design and how it can be applied to marketing.

For those not familiar with the term, behavior design is the process of applying the latest neurological and behavioral insights to the development of customer interactions to psychologically influence and change consumer behavior.

It’s the recipe behind today’s best marketing—marketing that gets people to act.

I’m used to introducing this concept to our clients when they approach our company about finding a more effective way to connect their brand with consumers.

So imagine my surprise when someone approached me about behavior design.

The Future of Marketing is VUCA

The Future of Marketing is VUCA

In 2010, I was a senior manager of marketing research for PepsiCo, working on the brand marketing initiatives for our SunChips brand. In my position, I got invited to a lot of conferences, most of which I couldn’t attend. But on a whim, I chose to attend the Future of Persuasion conference, mostly because it had a cool name.

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting much. However, within the first forty minutes of the keynote speech, I realized that every aspect of marketing and marketing research was going to fundamentally change within the next ten years.

The keynote speaker said that the world is in a state of VUCA: VolatileUncertainComplex, and Ambiguous. Technologies are scaling faster than ever, he told us, so we’re going to have to adapt quickly, which creates a VUCA world.

Why Tips for New York City Taxi Drivers Doubled Overnight

Why Tips for New York City Taxi Drivers Doubled Overnight

How many decisions do you think the average person makes every day?

Would you have guessed 35,000?  Well, it’s true. That’s a lot and it impacts our lives in ways we will never truly be aware of.  

Just to wade through this ocean of choice and make it through each day requires the use of time-saving mental shortcuts called cognitive heuristics.

Heuristics help people simplify decision making by eliminating the need to conduct cost-benefit analyses for every decision. Instead, we can simply use a mental shortcut.

On a daily basis, these mental shortcuts help us make hundreds of decisions, and can make brands a lot of extra money if they are understood and triggered correctly.  

But how exactly does that happen? Let’s hop into a Yellow Cab taxi and chat about it.

Drive New Consumer Behaviors by Marketing to Mindstates

Drive New Consumer Behaviors by Marketing to Mindstates

In the world of marketing, mindstates represent vast untapped potential.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a mindstate is a temporary state of mind when a shopper shifts from rational to emotionally driven decision making. In thee moments, people often act irrationally and against what we would expect based upon past purchases or behaviors.  These aren’t personality profiles or attitudinal segments that you use to segment your customer base. Rather, mindstates overlay on-top-of your attitudinal segmentation to help you gain much greater clarity around the nonconscious, behavioral psychology driving purchase behaviors.

9 Human Motivations that Drive Consumer Behavior

9 Human Motivations that Drive Consumer Behavior

Smart marketers are constantly seeking to answer one key question:

What drives consumers to act the way they do?

This is the billion-dollar question. If you can figure out what motivates consumers in their decision-making process, you can market your brand to them on a deeper level. 

After years of studying motivational psychology, we have discovered there are nine psychological motivations that drive most of our decisions and actions.

These motivations are universal to all people, and while it’s possible to see two or three motivations working in tandem, there will always be one primary motivation.

Here are the nine motivations and examples of brands in that space.

With Consumer Decisions, Context is Everything

With Consumer Decisions, Context is Everything

When marketers conduct consumer research, they often ask their customers what they “think” about an idea or advertisement and how they’ll act in the future. There’s a problem with that approach:

Most people can’t explain why they do the things they do and are really bad at predicting how they will act in the future.

People are great at creating rationalizations that explain why they believe they do what they do, but in reality, most don’t really understand why they act in a certain way.

As marketers, we’re often more capable of understanding the why behind our customers behaviors because we can remove ourselves from our own biases and focus on the most important driver of human behavior - decision context.

Behaviors are highly influenced by the context surrounding our decisions, so there are four contextual factors that marketers can use to understand and affect consumer decision making.

In this article, we’ll look at those four contextual factors and see an example of how this all works.

Effective Marketing Starts with Understanding Consumer Goals

Effective Marketing Starts with Understanding Consumer Goals

As a marketer, your first job is to understand the goals of your consumer.

Why? Because goals direct all actions and behaviors. A goal reveals the discrepancy between where the consumer is now and where they want to be.

In trigger point moments where a decision must be made, goals dictate our desires, which dictate our behaviors. The famous Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler once wrote, “We cannot think, feel, or act without the perception of some goal.”

If you’re hungry, your goal might be lunch. If you’re driving, the goal might be a good parking spot. If you’re exhausted after a long workday, the goal is probably a nap.

Let’s look at what marketers need to understand about consumer goals to connect with them, then discuss strategies for marketing to conscious and nonconscious goals.

How I Used Framing Effects to Get My Son to Eat Vegetables

How I Used Framing Effects to Get My Son to Eat Vegetables

My young son, Nicholas, hates vegetables.

He has always hated vegetables. Like any other red-blooded American boy, he loves pizza and McDonald’s (although I think that the Happy Meal toy plays a big part in that love). And if your kid is like mine, you too know that it’s almost impossible to get them to eat vegetables at dinner on a consistent basis. So I’m going to give you, my reader, a scientifically proven way to use psychology — specifically, regulatory focus — to get your kid to eat them.

Using Behavioral Psychology to Understand How People "Frame" Mass Shootings

Using Behavioral Psychology to Understand How People "Frame" Mass Shootings

Last week was hard. I mean really hard. The news of the school shooting in South Florida has once again placed the gun debate on the top of the American consciousness. As this debate rages on across every social media platform available, I've found that there is growing mistrust between (a) those who believe that limiting access to guns is the best solution vs. (b) those who believe that increasing armed security is the best solution.

Three massive impacts that Behavioral Economics is having on Marketers and Marketing Researchers

Three massive impacts that Behavioral Economics is having on Marketers and Marketing Researchers

Four years ago today, we landed our very first behavioral research and design project at TriggerPoint. If I’m honest, I’m fairly certain that our client didn’t really know what she was getting into. At that time, behavioral economics/behavioral research wasn’t common and there was almost no mention of System 1 anywhere. But she needed to do things differently and took a chance on a small start-up with no clients… but a ton of passion who promised to help her become the “persuasion engineer” for her company. Thank you, C! We are eternally grateful.