The UK Government Uses a Behavioural Insight Dept (Nudge Unit) And You Need To As Well.
You may not have heard about “Nudge” marketing, but it is everywhere with many large companies and governments using it. In fact the UK government formed a Nudge Unit several years ago (it is now privatised but was based in Downing st for a while.
On their website they explain that they use insights from behavioural science to encourage people to make better choices for themselves and society
The image opposite shows how a council is using nudge to keep the streets clean.
Nudge tries to encourage people to do things rather than using legislation to make them.
How To Use Nudge Behavioural Strategies in Your Business
When I talk to businesses about using Nudge Techniques they struggle to see how they can do this. Well it is surprisingly simpler than you might imagine.
Let’s take the situation where a business uses a honesty box to take payments. It might be a bar in a small hotel or guest house, a smallholding selling vegetables at the end of their drive; the principle even applies to a small shop trying to deter shop lifting.
What these businesses can do is to put a picture of some eyes above the honesty box.
It reminds people that they might be being observed. In tests this has been found to reduce thefts from unsupervised areas. It doesn’t stop all thefts but it does reduce them.
Is Nudge a Popular Marketing Technique?
It might surprise you to discover just how widespread the use of nudge is … this image is a screengrab from the Nudge Units own website. Nudge is used by a lot of government departments.
Nudge doesn’t consist of just a pair of eyes where theft might occur.
You can use it on your website, in your product lists and catalogues and even in your menus.
Yesterday I worked with a restaurant and showed them how to place items on the menu to maximise profit. For example the wine that sells best is often the one that is slightly higher in price than the cheapest. Wine buffs will buy what they like and those less knowledgeable will often buy on price. But they don’t want to look cheap so they go for the second cheapest on the list. If you ensure that has the best margin then you will maximise profit.
Likewise it is possible to layout the menu in such a way as to encourage sale of any item.
Another useful way to increase sales in a restaurant is the use of the “desserts trolley”. Wheel the trolley to the table and then ask if they want to buy and they are more likely start to salivate and buy!
If you don’t have a dessert trolley carry a sample of one or two dishes to the table.
And if you want to increase bookings go onto the street with samples and a booking form. Do it at lunch time when people are hungry and a good proportion are likely to book.
Nudge is here to stay. How will you use it?