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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

215. Questionstorming at KIND / Mars with Beatrix Daros

In today’s conversation, I am joined by Beatrix Daros, Global Consumer Intelligence Director for Mars, and today we are talking mostly about a project we worked on together for KIND snack bars around healthy snacking and checkout/impulse buying in grocery stores. Beatrix also shares about some technology they used during the pandemic and her advice for others looking to incorporate similar work at their companies. This conversation is a revisit of the session we did together at IIEX Europe in Amsterdam a few weeks back, which was an awesome event — thank you to Greenbook for having us out for that! 

Beatrix is so awesome and I’m delighted that she is joining me on the podcast. The event space in Amsterdam didn’t allow for the same easy replay on the podcast, so she was kind enough (pun intended) to do another recording with me here — so even those who watched the session live in Amsterdam will get something a little different in the episode. We talk about the questionstorming session we did in 2019, the studies they implemented based on that work, her plans for future research, and so much more.

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HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:43] In today’s conversation, I am joined by Beatrix Daros, Global Consumer Intelligence Director for Mars.
  • [01:45] Melina) will be speaking at another upcoming Greenbook event IIEX Behavior in Chicago September 13th-14th.
  • [03:35] The event space in Amsterdam didn’t allow for the same easy replay on the podcast, so Beatrix was kind enough (pun intended) to do another recording with me here. 
  • [06:02] Beatrix shares about herself and the work she does. 
  • [07:07] KIND is a healthy snack bar with very low sugar levels, high content of nuts, and very little processing. It is called KIND because we need more kindness in the world. 
  • [08:06] Beatrix shares her history and background. 
  • [10:16] Research tip: the most important thing is really to connect with people from the segments you are working with. (In their case, it was countries.)
  • [12:02] In some countries snacking is very established; it is considered part of the normal routine and part of their culture. 
  • [13:18] How people make decisions related to health is very different across countries. They researched what is affecting these decisions.
  • [15:11] They are doing research in the US, including looking at new products. In the rest of the world, they are looking to establish the brand like it is in the US. 
  • [18:00] Impulse buys matter a lot for the Mars legacy brands. Bars, whether they are indulgent or healthy, are very often bought impulsively. 
  • [20:43] Their expectation is that in the next five years other governments will likely follow what the UK is doing with their health regulations. 
  • [23:18] They started by really trying to understand what goes on in the brain of the consumers and what influences their decisions. They also looked at behavioral science and how they could apply it. 
  • [25:05] Melina worked with their team at a full-day workshop. They started off the day with Melina sharing about behavioral economics, how the brain works, and some specific concepts, and then they went to questionstorming.  
  • [27:26] It is important for everyone to be part of the process even if their idea doesn’t ultimately get selected (this helps with the IKEA effect). 
  • [29:45] Questionstorming was much more inclusive and improved engagement because every question found a space even if it wasn’t part of the first phase. It opened up and really brought people together. 
  • [31:08] Technology was wonderful for their project (especially with the pandemic) because they could learn very fast and get super clear on the outcomes. 
  • [33:19] They decided they would not go back to the way they did research before (in-person) because it was much more time-consuming. Technology can help you speed up and get results in 1-2 weeks. They may then test in stores for 4-6 weeks for validation, but it is still often faster than the old way of testing. 
  • [34:29] Beatrix tip: rely on technology, it is very reliable and we should take advantage of it. 
  • [36:25] The “deep human connection” goes back to the roots of the KIND brand. They were always in touch with the brand-consumer in a natural way. 
  • [37:13] There are three layers where they try to create deep human connections with their consumers. The first layer is to be kind to the body. The second layer is to be kind to the community, and the third layer is to be kind to the planet. 
  • [39:27] They launched a consumer closeness program. The first stream of the program was technology. 
  • [41:19] The second stream of the consumer closeness program is a consumer and associate connect. Every team member is connecting directly with consumers and trying to understand what matters to them. 
  • [44:26] Beatrix shares what she is excited about coming up in the future. 
  • [45:52] There needs to be a healthy balance between using technology and keeping human connections. 
  • [46:51] Since the pandemic, a lot of people became more conscious and we see the relationship between food and eating really changed in a positive way. 
  • [48:09] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
  • [49:58] Even when we have a small part in creating the project, and believe we were truly valued and part of the outcome, it can make a huge difference on whether or not people want to be part of and embrace that change initiative or recoil against it
  • [50:59] The way change is presented is within your control and can help keep this from ever being a problem. This is the focus of my new book, What Your Employees Need and Can’t Tell You which is on presale now and hits shelves on October 11, 2022.
  • [51:38] Could your team benefit from a questionstorming session? What projects do you have coming up in the next 6-12 months that are too important to fail? I would love to have a conversation with you and see if there is an opportunity for us to work together.

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