The term, ‘nudge’, was first given by Dr. Richard Thalor in 2008 for which he won the Nobel prize in 2017. So, what is this nudge marketing? Marketing has evolved a lot in the past decades and this new aspect of it is very useful to the producer as well as the consumer. The term involves appealing to people’s psychology to promote one’s product. Nudging involves reading people’s mind and making a decision on the basis of their thinking, whether rational or irrational. Nudges are little changes in the surroundings that help people make better choices. Let’s take some real life cases to understand the concept further.
To reduce littering of smoke trash, two ash bins in UK were marked as Ronaldo and Messi. These bins encouraged the people to vote for their favorite player by simply putting their litter in the bin. As the data shows, the littering decreased by 46%. Surprising, isn’t it?
Next, suppose you are the head of the council in your school, and your principal asks you to do something that will reduce the consumption of junk food in the cafeteria and replace it with healthy items, what will be your move? The most common thing you will do is to either increase the prices of the junk food or ban it simply. But there is a totally different way of nudging it. In a school in the US, the consumption of vegetables and fruits increased by 27% when they were placed at the eye level of the students and the junk food was placed at the upper shelfs. That’s how you do nudge marketing. You read the minds of the people, you sell what you want to sell, just in a different way. It’s a powerful way of promoting one’s product. People tend to think irrational most of the times, no offense to anyone. Another example of nudging is the fact that people can join the gym anytime in the year, but still many join at the start of the year.
Even though it has numerous advantages, it can backfire as well. There are different types of people in the world so the nudging can also demotivate and make them feel inferior, specially in India as it has a diverse set of consumers.
Also, it may not achieve the ultimate broad goal as it is focused on promoting specific behaviors. And to sum up, it is really very difficult to predict human behavior. Wrong nudging can hamper the reputation and credibility of a company. Some companies even hire specialized psychologists for this task.
With the right type of nudging, you can grow your business and multiply sales. What are your views on this?
Do read the best seller book NUDGE if you want to explore more about the concept.