April 28, 2022

No need for guesswork

The ultimate framework for understanding consumer behaviours

Author:
Craig Strudley, Director
By understanding where people are on the purchase journey, this removes the reliance of acting on ‘claimed’ future behaviour.

In the wake of the Covid pandemic and an escalating cost of living crisis, understanding consumer behaviour has never been more crucial for businesses and their brands.

By understanding predicted future customer behaviour you can identify the complexities of your market landscape, identify the value of potential opportunities for your products or services, enabling you to optimise marketing plans.

Thanks to a wealth of data sources, there are many ways of understanding what consumers are and aren’t doing. This is especially important when consumer preferences, attitudes and behaviours are constantly evolving.

Whilst current economic uncertainty influences changes in consumer behaviour, most long-term changes in consumer habits don’t simply happen overnight. Just because an individual is not currently demonstrating a behaviour, doesn’t mean they never will.


The success of a product launch or advertising campaign will most likely be judged based on its final in-market data. However, these hard metrics can miss the less noteworthy achievement of moving consumers along on a journey towards purchase and adopting a longer-term behaviour.

Behaviour Change Modelling (BCM) can anticipate where behaviour trends are heading, by recognising that people may be on the cusp of change – just not yet acting on it.

The model self-segments audiences into one of five ‘fact based’ stages of behavioural change, based on their current behaviour.

Statistical modelling is then used to understand which sorts of interventions or ‘nudges’ people need, to encourage them to move from one stage to the next.

By understanding where people are on the purchase journey, this removes the reliance of acting on ‘claimed’ future behaviour. You can then profile demographically and attitudinally, to inform commercial strategies to help drive change.

At its simplest, this approach allows you to gauge and effectively anticipate consumer behaviour. The BCM evaluates where on the ‘purchase journey’ a consumer stands based on their behaviour and actions.

Through quantifying how many people are currently demonstrating the ‘ready to purchase’ behaviour, or are on the cusp of doing so, these consumers can be categorised within one of five fact-based stages of the BCM.

The beauty of this approach is that it also gives guidance into what has already caused those demonstrating a behaviour, to do so.

BCM is a truly flexible approach providing powerful insights used by:

• Strategy teams – Providing future direction and strategy by understanding lifestyle behaviour and changes.
• Marketing teams – Evaluating pre and post-behavioural activation, to measure real shifts in behaviour (not claimed intent).
• R&D innovation – Estimating market sizing to understand where the next innovation might lie, based on how consumers are currently behaving.

Why we know it works – some examples of where it’s been powerful

Predicting ethical consumer engagement:

In an international study, BCM was used to quantify the opportunity to leverage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitments to drive consumer connection, loyalty and ultimately purchase of our client’s brands. Findings showed that there was a clear dollar return in investing in CSR, as well as the importance of the tone and frequency of the messaging to inspire action. From these learnings, our client was able to develop campaigns which harness the right tone of voice, to move people along on an ethical behavioural journey, unlocking ROI and greater consumer engagement.

Sizing the prize for innovation, based on current and future behaviours:

Our client’s innovation team had access to a wealth of current market data, but needed to identify opportunities within emerging categories, to understand not just the current landscape, but also the momentum and financial potential for innovation categories. BCM quantified which of 20 unique categories, across 16 markets people were currently buying, or on the cusp of buying into, measuring the size of each opportunity, and how to capitalise on these. We provided a clear roadmap for prioritising innovation opportunities, across markets and product categories, as well as providing granular detail into how to nudge people to becoming a regular consumer.

Find out more:

BCM is a truly flexible innovation which is granular, scalable, replicable, and consistent, providing a unique psychological approach to quantify, predict and explain a consumer’s likelihood to change behaviour. It’s just one of many context-driven approaches to understand and optimise brand performance and communication.

For more information on how we can help brands understand future consumer behaviour, please get in touch.


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