100 episodes

Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics Melina Palmer

    • Marketing
    • 4.7 • 116 Ratings

Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

    Using Behavioral Science in Healthcare, Interview with Aline Holzwarth

    Using Behavioral Science in Healthcare, Interview with Aline Holzwarth

    In today’s episode, I am so excited to introduce you to Aline Holzwarth. Talk about an amazing person doing fantastic and exciting things! Aline is both a principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, where she works directly with Dan Ariely and the whole awesome team there. She is ALSO the head of behavioral science at Pattern Health.
    Today you will get to learn about both of her roles, a little of what it’s like to work with Dan, and about so many great things that she is doing to apply behavioral science in business. 
    I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation. Show Notes: [00:08] I’m excited to introduce you to Aline Holzwarth, principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight and head of behavioral science at Pattern Health. [03:05] Aline shares about all the exciting things she is doing and how she got into behavioral science. She enjoys being exposed to new and different business applications and she was drawn in by the real-world impact.  [05:32] She loves both of her roles so much that she just can’t give either of them up.   [07:21] She shares about some of her favorite projects she has worked on.   [10:23] At the Center for Advanced Hindsight many of their projects come from Dan and some are chosen by the team.   [12:48] The more you are exposed to, the more connections you are going to make.   [13:28] Pattern Health is a digital health platform that works with researchers and clinicians to help them do their research and translate that research into clinical use cases.   [15:03] Aline’s job is to bake behavioral science into the Pattern Health platform to make behaviors that are not fun at all a little easier to do.   [17:24] There is going to be attrition no matter how good your app is, but ideally they try to limit it.   [20:21] Creating a Care Circle to offer constant support has been very impactful especially in long-term situations.   [23:31] They share ways to put people together for more successful support.  [24:10] There is a lot of benefit in support groups, but getting people to find one and show up is very difficult.   [26:44] You can nudge people in the direction that will be most helpful to them but also allow them to have the freedom of choice.   [28:15] Virgil is their mascot and virtual pet at Pattern Health. Virgil is one way to track daily progress. People get very attached to Virgil.  [30:48] Melina shares about the app, Forest, that holds you accountable.  [31:41] Virgil is based on the ideas of rewards substitution. They are substituting the long term reward for a short term reward. The long term things usually don’t motivate us.   [34:09] Behavioral interventions like Virgil help you overcome tiny hurdles until it becomes habitual. We often have to combine behavior interventions to make each one more effective.   [36:01] Aline shares what the future holds for her. She is really interested in getting more into the idea of personality matching.   [37:23] One area she is really excited to start developing is personalizing to peoples’ personalities.   [40:01] They are using the Big 5 personality model.  [42:10] In behavioral economics we are looking at things that all people do on a more general scale. Using personality, we may be able to drill down and know which behavioral interventions work best based on personality type. [43:19] Aline is doing an interview series for Pattern Health looking at innovators, health, and research.  [43:54] Melina’s closing reflections. Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Po

    • 46 min
    Using Behavioral Science to Tackle Addiction (and the Lessons for any Business), Interview with Richard Chataway

    Using Behavioral Science to Tackle Addiction (and the Lessons for any Business), Interview with Richard Chataway

    Today I am so excited to introduce you to Richard Chataway. Richard is such an awesome and fun guy to chat with. He has worked on so many amazing projects, and let me just tell you right now you are going to love this episode. While Richard works with all sorts of businesses and organizations when applying behavioral economics as CEO of BVA Nudge Unit UK, our conversation ended up talking a lot about addiction, and how he worked on some campaigns that helped people quit smoking. 
    When you think about changing behavior and how you can apply the insights from behavioral science, it may feel like an addiction would be untouchable...like it is out of the realm of possibility. As you will hear today, the same concepts that are applied in businesses to help people to choose the best product for them can also be used to understand behavior and help people make healthier choices; Things they may desperately want to do and have struggled for years on their own, but with a well-structured program including the right insights from behavioral economics, it becomes possible. 
    You can learn more from Richard and projects he has worked on in his book and accompanying podcast, both called The Behaviour Business.
    I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation. Show Notes: [00:41] I am so excited to introduce you to Richard Chataway. Richard is such an awesome and fun guy to chat with. [01:46] You can learn more from Richard and projects he has worked on in his book and accompanying podcast, both called The Behaviour Business. [03:50] Richard shares how he got into behavioral science about 15 years ago when he worked at the Department of Health in the UK.  [04:50] Smoking as a behavior is very interesting because it is a quintessential irrational behavior.  We are at a point now that everyone knows it is bad for them and that it has short-term and long-term consequences for their health but still people continue smoking.  [06:01] They have changed their approach from telling smokers about the risks to helping them quit and providing them with tools. It was more effective than the traditional approach.   [06:41] Our behavior is not as rational as we think it is and by recognizing some of those irrationalities we can be very successful in changing behavior.   [08:11] Now Richard works for the BVA Nudge Unit. They are a specialist behavioral practice within BVA.  [09:47] Behavioral science can be applied across a huge range of challenges and contexts. [12:02] Behavioral science is helping to show that if you talk about it differently changes can happen.   [12:56] How you say something is as important as what you’re saying. You can frame things in a way that resonates with people and is more motivating.  [15:30] In their research they found that family-based motivations were very important to the group of smokers they were targeting. Smoking was seen as their reward.   [17:11] The fundamental message that smoking is bad hasn’t changed.  Reframing that it doesn’t just impact you but it also impacts your family made the campaign much more effective.   [19:14] If you can shake up your routine and change it a little bit, it can have a huge impact. Habits are very powerful drivers of behavior.   [20:18] It is very easy to think of smoking as being a habitual behavior automatically, but there is a reward element to it.   [22:38] Emotions are very powerful drivers of our behavior.  In their campaign, they were trying to find the right emotional triggers to get that response.  [24:03] Richard shares about a tv a

    • 51 min
    The Best of The Brainy Business in 2020

    The Best of The Brainy Business in 2020

    Hello and Happy New Year everyone! While 2020 was nowhere near the year any of us were expecting it to be, I’m always looking for silver linings, so it seemed worth taking the time to celebrate the top content and accomplishments here at The Brainy Business over the past year. I finished my book, which comes out in the first half of 2021 and I’m so excited to be able to talk more about it soon!
    I was also a guest two separate times on New Day Northwest, a Seattle area afternoon talk show on the NBC affiliate here. The Brainy Business won Best YouTube Channel in behavioral science from reader votes via Habit Weekly, which was such a huge honor, and I also started teaching applied behavioral economics through Texas A&M University for the Certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics! We’ve had one cohort start already in the fall and if you’re interested there is still time to join us for January classes, which begin on January 18. 
    I want to thank you all for listening, subscribing, sharing, connecting on social media, and for reaching out to let me know your wins and the behavioral economics concepts you have applied in your own businesses. Those are some of my favorite messages to get – I truly love hearing from you, so please continue to reach out (and use the links below to connect on social media).
    I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation. Show Notes: [00:49] Today we are going to celebrate the top content and accomplishments here at The Brainy Business over the past year. [03:30] First, I want to thank you all for listening, subscribing, sharing, connecting on social media, and for reaching out to let me know your wins and the behavioral economics concepts you have applied in your own businesses. [04:37] The top countries and states with downloads in 2020. [06:11] I’m going to tell you about the top 10 downloads of the year, which will be followed by the top 10 downloads of all time. [07:31] The tenth most downloaded episode of 2020 was number 99 on bikeshedding. Bikeshedding is constantly keeping people spinning their wheels and not making progress on goals.  [09:01] The ninth most downloaded episode of 2020 was number 84: How to stack and bundle products and services so they are most appealing to potential customers. [09:57] Coming in at number 8 is episode 87 on social proof and how to use herding to boost engagement and sales.  [11:01] Number 7 was the very first of 2020, episode 81: How to Finally Change Your Behavior So it Sticks.  [12:10] Number 6 is the first interview to make an appearance with author Brian Ahearn, which was episode 104. [13:50] The 5th most downloaded episode of the year was also an interview, episode 101 with Dan Ariely, where we discussed Shapa, the numberless scale. [15:07] The 4th most downloaded episode of 2020 was episode 91 on the coronavirus and how the human brain responds to pandemics. [17:15] The third most downloaded episode was on Confirmation Bias, episode 102. [18:23] The second most downloaded of the year was number 83: How to Organize Your Brain with Behavioral Economics [19:08] And the most downloaded episode of all of 2020 was number 86, A Behavioral Economics Analysis of Peloton! [21:57] Next we are going to talk about the top ten most downloaded episodes of all time since the podcast launched in June 2018.  [22:18] The number 10 most downloaded episode of all time was episode 102 on Confirmation Bias. [22:26] The ninth most downloaded episode of all time was on Selective Attention Biases which was episode 50. [24:04] Number 8 was the episo

    • 42 min
    Decision Fatigue, a Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode

    Decision Fatigue, a Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode

    So many people felt bogged down by all the extra stress and decisions of 2020. We had our habits upended and were forced to think about things we were used to letting our subconscious brains handle for us. Because of that, it was pretty easy to choose decision fatigue as the topic for this last episode of the year. 

    • 28 min
    The BIG Effects of Small Behavior Changes in Business, an Interview with Jez Groom and April Vellacott, coauthors of Ripple

    The BIG Effects of Small Behavior Changes in Business, an Interview with Jez Groom and April Vellacott, coauthors of Ripple

    Jez Groom and April Vellacott are coauthors of the book Ripple: The big effects of small behaviour changes in business. Jez and April work together at Cowry Consulting in the UK, which he founded in 2015. During the conversation, we talk about all sorts of concepts, like nudges, anchoring, framing, loss aversion, priming, and more.

    • 50 min
    How To Use Behavioral Science in Banking, Food Delivery and More–An Interview with Dr. Henry Stott, Co-founder of Dectech

    How To Use Behavioral Science in Banking, Food Delivery and More–An Interview with Dr. Henry Stott, Co-founder of Dectech

    Today I am very pleased to introduce you to Dr. Henry Stott, cofounder of Dectech, a behavioral science consultancy in the UK.  As you’ll hear on the show today, Dectech works with all sorts of companies and industries, from banks to insurance and food delivery. They use randomized controlled trials and other techniques to help companies understand behavior and properly apply it within their businesses.
    Dectech is not new to the space. It was founded nearly two decades ago in 2002, so they have lots of background and foundations they build upon. 
    During our conversation, Henry and I talk about all sorts of concepts, like nudges, anchoring, relativity, framing, habits, and more—and all those past episodes are linked for you in the show notes, as well as the book The Mind is Flat written by Henry’s cofounder of Dectech, Dr. Nick Chater.
    I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation. Show Notes: [00:40] I am very pleased to introduce you to Dr. Henry Stott, cofounder of Dectech, a behavioral science consultancy in the UK. [02:43] Dr. Stott started Dectech about 20 years ago with his cofounder, Dr. Nick Chater. They have spent the last 20 years refining their view on how you harness those methods to more accurately predict how consumers and other people will behave in novel situations. [03:54] There are two classes of problems. The first class of problems is a precedent problem when you are trying to forecast the future.   [04:46] The second class of problems is harder (and often more valuable) where there has never been anything like it before. These are the types of problems they have set out to understand.   [06:06] Dr. Stott shares about the Deliveroo project. The question was whether they were going to launch a subscription product or not.   [09:04] Pricing is not about price.  The way you present everything before you get to the price matters more than the number.  [10:34] Designing the proposition so it fits snuggly into what people want is the first objective.  A lot of people fail to do that. They often have to drop the price because they haven’t added value.   [12:06] A lot of the designs of features and propositions are driven by an excessive fixation with competitors and an excessive self-confidence of the management.  [14:36] Looking to competitors when determining your pricing is a mistake.   [16:58] At least half of the judgment is made up of the movement of prices within a store as opposed to contrasting across stores.  [17:40] People are much more sensitive to the order of things than the size of the differences.   [19:54] When you are able to feel like you are part of the process waiting can feel less painful.  [22:51] Sometimes a time delay can be a good thing.   [23:36] Dr. Stott shares about the Lloyd’s Bank case study and the customer journey optimization process.  [24:31] They were looking to design a home insurance renewal process that worked best for the customers and the bank.   [25:37] They also tested a “name your price” condition, but it ended up not being very popular (which is good to know because it would have been very expensive to set up and would have been a waste of time and money).  [28:28] In experiments, Dectech runs as many as 20 variances. Sometimes they are all run together and other times they build on each other.   [29:33] The best approach is to immerse customers in a decision-making environment that is as close as possible to the environment they would naturally encounter.   [32:01] You can get quite close to replicating the k

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
116 Ratings

116 Ratings

Dawn Bourke ,

I’m learning a lot!

Melina explains principles of behavioral science in a very easy way. This is a valuable educational and enjoyable tool for me. Thank you!!!

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky ,

Melina is a great podcast host!

Melina is a great podcast host! Terrific interviewer who ensures that those being interviewed look good, as opposed to trying to shine the spotlight on themselves. Read my book thoroughly and had great questions. Since she prepared so well for the interview with me, the conversation was smooth and flowing. Highly recommended!

vklevine ,

Psychology and business=fascinating!

Excellent podcast! Melina is so knowledgeable and has a way of explaining behavioral economics in an understandable way. I found this podcast and now it’s one of my favorites to listen to. I have FOMO because I haven’t caught up on all the episodes but will listen over and over to several because there is just so much info in each episode!

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