Who is using behavioural economics?

A question I am often asked is “who is using behavioural economics?”. The question is not surprising given we tend to look to what others are doing to help decide what we should do.

So rather than publish my client list, I thought I’d provide a brief rundown on some of the businesses that have been publicly acknowledged to have utilised strategies from the behavioural economics playbook.

Lloyds and Barclays banks

With the guidance of Procter research, the bank call centers were behaviourally tweaked through scripting and call pathways. Result? Sales increase of 20%, satisfaction up 7%, conversion growth of almost 12% and staff confidence up nearly 18%. More on Procter’s trial.

Westpac NZ

Used the behavioural insight that we spend on impulse to create a new app that allows impulsive saving. Unfortunately the money still needs to be yours, but you can’t have everything! More on Westpac’s app.


It’s always an adventure to shop in this monolithic retailer, the floor plan is crafted to disorient and stimulate purchase by weakening your sense of externally anchored prices. More on Ikea.


Overcoming our dislike of risk and ambiguity when buying a car extends to what the re-sale value is likely to be. Hyundai tell their customers so that their fear of the unknown is eliminated. More on Hyundai.

Domino’s Pizza

Is a 2-for-1 offer better at driving behaviour than a free bottle of soft drink? Domino’s in the UK have engaged their media agency to use behavioural economics in the planning process to optimise customer incentives. More on Domino’s.

Birmingham Airport

Turned an airport website from a cost centre to profit centre by simplifying the decision-making process for customers. As a result, traffic and conversion for parking, travel and newsletter sign-ups were all impressively improved. More on Birmingham Airport.


Celebrated for their use of behavioural economics to influence healthier eating by staff. How? Healthier foods were easier to get to, smaller plates were provided and food choices were colour coded to indicate their nutritional credentials. More on Google’s cafeteria.

US Cellular

Holes punched in the wall of an outlet by an angry customer triggered an overhaul of US Cellular’s customer loyalty program using behavioural economics. More on US Cellular via Tibco (video).

AMP Financial Advisors

Teamed with the great Dan Ariely of Duke University (author of the bestselling Predictably Irrational), Amp’s app for financial advisors used behavioural economics in its design to gain an average 76% conversion. More on Amp.

But that’s not all. Given marketing is really about behavioural change, behavioural economics is also being utilised extensively by advertising agencies. Some of the leading agencies include Ogilvy UK, M&C Saatchi, BBDO, Draft FCB and Naked Communications.

From this quick rundown you can see that behavioural economics has been applied across various industries and for a range of purposes; interface design, customer service, sales conversion and customer engagement, so the field offers great flexibility and delivers great results. Sounds like a great opportunity for your business!

Bri Williams runs People Patterns Pty Ltd, a consultancy specialising in the application of behavioural economics to everyday business issues. Bri is a presenter, consultant and author who you can find out more about at www.peoplepatterns.com.au, [email protected] or by following @peoplepatterns. Bri’s book, “22 Minutes to a Better Business“, about how behavioural economics can help you tackle everyday business issues, is available through the Blurb bookstore.


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