Podcast Episodes

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?

291. The Secret Sauce of Effective Decision-Making with Sam Evans

In order to design effective solutions, businesses need to have a clear understanding of the different types of decisions their customers make. Not all decisions are created equal, and handling them differently ensures better outcomes. Companies should avoid applying a one-size-fits-all approach, instead aiming for a tailored response that addresses the specific needs of each consumer decision. By having a better grasp of decision-making processes, businesses can create products, services, and experiences that truly resonate with their audiences.

 In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, Sam Evans emphasizes the importance of diagnosing the decision before prescribing a solution. Instead of providing a standard response to every challenge or query, businesses should seek to comprehend the decision type, the question being asked, and the desired outcomes. Evans highlights that businesses must go beyond just addressing jobs to be done but also consider the deeper aspirations and self-identity of customers.

  • Uncover the pivotal role of the decision-making process in designing impactful solutions.
  • Create a practical decision spectrum to categorize customer decision-making styles.
  • Engage customers effectively while providing answers that direct them to optimal choices.
  • Explore the power of weaving engaging stories and emotions into the decision-making framework.
  • Devise immersive experiences that naturally drive customer engagement without forcefulness.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
Sam Evans, founder and CEO of Design for Decision, talks about his background in brand strategy and innovation and his passion for helping teams design products, services, and experiences that change behavior and drive growth.

00:03:40 – From Reputation Management to Behavioral Science,
Sam shares how his career has been about designing for behavior change, starting with reputation management and public affairs, then moving to brand strategy and innovation at Pepsi, and eventually launching Design for Decision.

00:07:29 – Design for Decision’s Mission,
Sam talks about Design for Decision’s mission to put the latest science of how people think, decide, and behave into action for the purpose of winning brand positioning, meaningful innovation, and more engaging cross-channel experiences for big brands, non-profits, and startups.

00:09:27 – Connections with Behavioral Science Experts,
Sam talks about his connections with behavioral science experts like Robert Cialdini, Steve Wendell, and Nir Eyal, and how he has integrated their ideas into his work at Design for Decision.

00:14:31 – Designing for Decision,
Sam explains how designing for decision is more than just designing for the jobs to be done, and how not all decisions are created equal. He talks about the importance of understanding the decision before designing anything and how businesses can do social good by helping people make more confident, effective, and efficient decisions.

00:15:56 – Understanding Different Types of Decisions,
Sam Evans emphasizes the need to move away from the assumption that all clients face the same challenges or require the same toolkit to solve their problems. He suggests that different types of decisions should be diagnosed first and then solutions prescribed to answer questions based on the decision-making needs of the customers.

00:18:38 – The Decision Design Spectrum,
Sam Evans introduces the idea of a decision design spectrum, which classifies different types of decisions into deliberation, default, and deciding. He explains that depending on where a decision falls on this spectrum, different tactics must be employed for effective engagement.

00:21:08 – Educating vs Engaging,
Sam differentiates between educating and engaging customers, citing the success of smoking cessation campaigns that used negative reinforcement instead of education to deter smoking. He recommends engaging customers in ways that inspire and answer their questions instead of educating them on why a product is important.

00:25:18 – The Importance of Translating and Avoiding Math,
Sam Evans advises businesses to avoid asking customers to do math and include technical jargon. Instead, communicate in simple language. He suggests providing familiar concepts and translating information to help customers make informed decisions.

00:28:04 – Engaging Customers in the Right Way,
Sam Evans highlights the success of brands like Amy’s Kitchen in engaging customers through appealing visuals and inviting experiences. He suggests businesses find ways to engage customers based on their decision-making preferences, whether it’s System 1 (subconscious) or System 2 (conscious).

00:29:30 – Understanding Decision Making & Behavior,
Sam Evans highlights the importance of understanding decision making and behavior. He emphasizes that it is crucial to diagnose the decision before prescribing the solution. He also notes that not all decisions are created equal, and it is essential to consider the type of decision before designing a solution.

00:31:00 – Leading with Behavior,
Sam and Melina discuss the importance of leading with behavior when it comes to growing a brand. Sam argues that focusing on behavior first is crucial because people buy based on behavior. He suggests that the emphasis should be on designing for behavior rather than forcing things on people.

00:32:15 – Education vs. Behavior,
Sam and Melina discuss the challenges of educating people about a product or service. They note that the goal is often to get people to care about something in the same way the company cares about it (which is a bad approach). Sam argues that it is more important to focus on designing an experience that is engaging and inviting rather than leading with education.

00:33:40 – Behavioral Design for Good,
Sam emphasizes that he would love to have more conversations with those who are trying to do good by people and change the world. He notes that private organizations, public organizations, nonprofit, and startups are all welcome to reach out to him. Sam highlights that the goal of behavioral design is to make a connection and design an amazing experience that is really engaging.

00:38:02 – Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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