This is a very fundamental question. Something I have stumbled on well into the course of responding to a brief. After all if the question is wrong, the answer cannot be right.
Do pause for a moment and think hard. It might be a question well worth its weight in gold. A question whose answer may decide whether your service receives uptake or not, whether that dazzling start-up idea takes flight or dies out. Often behind a particular idea, product or service there lays a pre-existing behaviour that needs to change for the intervention to really succeed.
For example to sell term insurance to young one may need to grapple with the short term over long term behaviour that is so characteristic of us all and young people in particular. To sell a water filter to the bottom of the pyramid one may have to deal with the fallacy that what looks pure is actually pure. To sell someone an electric vehicle one may have to deal with the behaviour that one’s immediate self-interest is more pertinent rather than collective long term interest.
The reason that this is such an important question is that if there is a source issue of a behaviour that lies as a deterrent to your initiative you have to approach this from a completely different vector. One lies in the realm of marketing and the other in the realm of working with deep, motivational levers that lie rooted in evolutionary biology, behavioural economics insights and surgical creativity.
Of course, not everything is a behaviour change project. At times one may merely need to provoke a single time action of a purchase or one may merely need to raise awareness about one’s brand. This is a relatively simpler task.
During the creation of various campaigns I have had the good fortune of being able to observe how a brilliant strategy, a lovely creative and a careful media plan can come together and kindle a great recall, appreciation and engagement, but fail to move the ticker on changing behaviour. Also the moment the creative is designed on the foundational basis of behavioural change levers the behaviour visibly responds. I must say it was a rather humbling epiphany for me well into my career.
If you have asked yourself this question and arrived at a satisfactory answer, it’s already a good beginning. At least you can be sure that you are not going down the wrong road on the first turn. Now you may safely begin building your brand, communication outreach and campaign on behavioural change levers. Change the underlying behaviour, sell your product.
– Jaykrishnan P R