188 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

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 131 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.

    Behavioral Blueprint, including COM-B and MOVE models with Elina Halonen

    Behavioral Blueprint, including COM-B and MOVE models with Elina Halonen

    Today I am very excited to introduce you to Elina Halonen, a behavioral insights strategist who has worked in the space for 15 years and co-founded a London-based insights consultancy working with global brands on branding, communications, and product/service development projects. She has expertise in behavioural analysis & design, consumer insights & market research, Cultural understanding, desk research & trends, branding & marketing strategy, and more. 
    Today on the show we talk a little about the COM-B and MOVE models, as well as Elina pre-committing to us all that she is going to write a book, called the Behavioural Blueprint!
    COM-B is for: Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behavior.
    MOVE is for: Meanings, Observations, Viewpoints, and Experiences. We dive into what these models mean, a couple of examples, and so many other great topics.
    Show Notes: [00:40] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Elina Halonen, a behavioral insights strategist who has worked in the space for 15 years and co-founded a London-based insights consultancy working with global companies on branding, communications, and product/service development projects. [03:13] Elina and Melina have been connected on LinkedIn for years and officially meeting for the first time for this interview!  [03:53] Elina shares about herself and her background.  [05:15] For the last couple of years she has worked as an independent consultant and has worked with various research agencies.  [08:02] Tips for starting a business in an emerging market? Find a niche where you can raise awareness for what you do. Some areas are easier than others. Find a way to educate the market. [09:52] You will need a lot of creativity to promote yourself and what you do.  [12:07] If you pick what you are going to do, you have to be all-in on that thing for at least a year to give it a chance to be successful.  [14:55] Elina’s first degrees were in marketing and it was always about consumer behavior.  [16:42] All of business is a long game.  [17:22] Give information generously. Make sure you add value to people. [20:31] She works with market research agencies and brings her behavioral science expertise.  [22:19] There are different ways of talking about behavioral science depending on what it is you are doing. It is not one size fits all.   [23:01] When they do a project, they think about the target behavior, what is the business objective, and what behaviors do they want to influence or change.  [25:04] Elina shares her commitment to writing her book, Behavioral Blueprint. Hold her accountable on Twitter. (handles below) [27:51] Melina shares her tips for writing a book, including to break it down and just get started.  [28:39] Break it down into chapters and look at what content you already have that fits that information and start segmenting it in.  [31:34] Bringing cultural psychology into behavioral change is becoming increasingly important.  [33:45] She has an intuitive process of looking at things in a certain way that is her Behavioral Blueprint.  [35:02] Start by looking at the situation and accessing what you are up against. [35:44] She is a big fan of the COM-B model: Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behavior. [36:46] There is a huge amount of context that applied behavioral science often ignores.  [39:11] When she is analyzing or trying to organize things she likes to make it logical.  [41:54] Solving the wrong problem is very common and very human. Not spending enough time identifying the problem is the biggest mistake Melina sees companies make.  [43:37] Elina shares her blog post that she wrote about Netflix solving the wrong problem.  [45:10] Everything you do has an opportunity cost. We need to be sure we are solving the right problem first. It is the foundation of everything we do.  [48:03] We need to understand someone’s logic empathically, putting ourselves in their shoes before we try to change their behavior.  [50:5

    • 57 min
    Motivation and Incentives at Work with Kurt Nelson

    Motivation and Incentives at Work with Kurt Nelson

    Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Kurt Nelson, one of the cohosts of Behavioral Grooves as well as the president and founder of The Lantern Group. 
    In our conversation today we dig into motivation and incentivizing people at work and how to align that with your company strategy. We discuss how simple, seemingly “obvious” things can cause miscommunications so easily, like the word “grooves” in Behavioral Grooves. Tim and Kurt had many conversations about the name and agreed to it and were doing their first interview when they realized they had totally different ideas of that context - ha! Listen in to hear the full story. Kurt also shares his top podcasting tips and advice for anyone thinking about starting their own show. He shares so many great insights in our conversation, you definitely want to make sure to listen in. 
    Show Notes: [00:41] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Kurt Nelson, one of the cohosts of Behavioral Grooves as well as the president and founder of The Lantern Group. [02:17] Recently, Tim and Kurt did a session in the BE Thoughtful Revolution - watch the replay. [03:26] Kurt shares about himself and his background. He is a behavioral scientist and he has been working in the field for 20+ years.  [05:04] Discussion on the music piece of Behavioral Grooves (and an interesting miscommunication that can teach you about business).  [07:43] There are over 260 episodes of the Behavioral Grooves podcast.    [09:34] Melina believes that Abbey Road by The Beatles is the greatest album ever.  [12:25] Sometimes we get constrained by our own knowledge. The idea of not knowing allows you to be more expansive in your thoughts about what could be. [13:40] People get limited not only by their expertise, but also by their history. [15:33] The interesting piece about business and the world is that it is constantly evolving, shifting, and changing. What worked last year might not work this year. The context changes by company and year.   [17:31] Co-hosts work on a podcast if you have a clear understanding and respect for each other. You also need to have an understanding of who is doing different roles.  [18:59] Consistency is key!  [20:18] As a host you have to bring a unique perspective to the story they are telling and ask them the right questions.  [22:04] A lot of the work Kurt does focuses on applying a behavioral science lens inside of organizations and trying to help the company understand the drivers of an employee’s behavior and the motivation behind that behavior. They usually start with a behavioral audit.  [24:06] A big gap is almost always communication. You can have the best incentive plan, total rewards, and structure in place, but if people don’t understand it or buy into it, you are missing a big opportunity. [26:27] Kurt shares two of his corporate projects. They looked at the current programs they had in place and what behaviors they were driving.  [28:26] Companies want the behaviors the incentive plans and rewards programs are driving to align with the company strategy.  [29:03] The pandemic has been a real game-changer for many organizations.  [30:14] You need to treat your employees as humans. Understand what you can do as a manager to allow that human-centeredness of your employees to really be there and that you are bringing in the elements of listening, care, empathy, and concern.  [32:19] Understanding incentives becomes even more important when people are working remotely.  [32:39] The incentives need to match the audience you are currently trying to appeal to.   [34:43] That alignment with your incentives and your audience might mean you might have to exclude a certain group of people. [35:47] Get the philosophy aligned with where you want to go before you even start to think about the specifics of how your rewards, incentives, and communication all go into play.  [36:50] In business we often think we are on the same page, but the

    • 46 min
    Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation with Ayelet Fishbach

    Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation with Ayelet Fishbach

    Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Ayelet Fishbach. She is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON). She is an expert on motivation and decision making and the author of the brand new book, which just released this week called Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation.  
    Of course, Ayelet’s insights are valuable all year round, but it is very much intentional to have this as the first episode of the year. This really is the time of year where people are thinking about goals and motivation. Your New Year’s resolutions are still hopefully intact, and you can increase your chances of meeting and exceeding them with these insights from Ayelet. Regardless of when you listen, it’s always a good opportunity to set and achieve a new goal. After all, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. 😉 She shares so many top tips for getting it done this year…you don’t want to miss it! 
    Show Notes: [00:42] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Ayelet Fishbach,  the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON). [01:17] Ayelet’s groundbreaking research on human motivation has won her several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award. [04:18] Ayelet shares her background and how she got into the space of motivation science.  [07:02] Our circumstances often influence what we achieve in life and sometimes we are lucky to have situations where our personal interests fit what people are starting to be interested in around you.  [07:57] She started her research with an interest in self-control and the question on her mind was how people respond when they learn that there is an upcoming problem. For example, will you eat more or less when you know in advance that the food at the party will be delicious and tempting? 🤔  [09:22] Her Ph.D. dissertation research was testing if the anticipation of knowing temptation was coming made people better able to combat these temptations. [11:05] Thinking through problems and knowing what obstacles are going to happen to allow you to create a plan to keep yourself motivated and on track.  [13:52] Ayelet’s new book is called Get It Done. She shares how the book cover came about.  [17:33] Ayelet’s book takes a very different approach by starting with a cautionary tale about Everest.  [19:19] Choosing the right goal is critical. Have a healthy relationship with your goals.  [21:56] We need to move from setting unhealthy extreme goals for our lives.  [22:37] Setting goals can also have downsides.  [24:58] More than half of the New Year’s resolutions that people set are working out and eating healthy.  [26:04] The predictor of success for our New Year’s resolution is how much pleasure we find in the path of pursuing the goal. So plan accordingly.  [26:40] It has to be somewhat rewarding as you do it and you have to find a path that is fun and rewarding along the way.  [28:47] We don’t have a lot of empathy for our future selves. We think that our future self will do what is important to her.  [29:42] The number one mistake in setting resolutions is setting it to some ideal version of yourself that is not who you are.  [31:45] Do the mental simulation of how it will feel to do your resolution all year. Then think about how you can make it more fun.  [34:05] Ayelet shares why something like Pokémon GO! can be valuable for goal achievement of being healthier or walking

    • 53 min
    How to Create Remarkable Experiences with Dan Gingiss

    How to Create Remarkable Experiences with Dan Gingiss

    Today I am beyond delighted to introduce you to my friend Dan Gingiss to talk about how to create remarkable experiences that your customers can’t wait to share. Dan is an international keynote speaker and coach who believes that a remarkable customer experience is your best sales and marketing strategy. 
    His 20-year professional career included leadership positions at McDonald’s, Discover, and Humana. He is the author of two books, including The Experience Maker which we will discuss today, and is the host of two shows, the Experience This! podcast and The Experience Maker LinkedIn live show. 
    While Dan’s insights are valuable at any time, it is very much intentional to have this as the last episode of the year. This is a time many reflect on the year that has just ended and think about what they will be doing next. If your plan doesn’t already include an improved customer experience and having a business that people can’t wait to share about, it should. Listen to today’s episode as you consider your customer experience and look to improve it in the new year. 
    Show Notes: [00:39] Today I am beyond delighted to introduce you to my friend Dan Gingiss to talk about how to create remarkable experiences that your customers can’t wait to share. [03:36] Dan shares his experience speaking at Social Media Marketing World for the first time.   [04:30] Dan shares his background of 20 plus years in corporate America.  [05:04] We all know that word of mouth is the holy grail of marketing. It is much better when someone is saying nice things about us than if we are saying nice things about ourselves.  [05:29] A remarkable customer experience is your best marketing strategy.  [08:34] We have so much data on our customers that we don’t use and we forget to come back to.  [11:03] Experience can happen anywhere. It is about knowing when to provide the right experience when your customers need it most or don’t expect it.  [13:47] There are so many little things that we can do. Some people may advocate to only focus on one side, but Dan (and Melina!) suggest you both get rid of pain points and create positive moments.  [14:26] If we keep focusing on the little things, they absolutely add up to something amazing.  [15:48] We have got to empower all of our employees to truly believe they are in the customer experience business.  [16:56] Become a customer of your own business.  [18:49] Remove pain points and create peaks in your customer journey.  [20:08] If your customer is frustrated with your company, they are going to be more open to a TV commercial or social media ad for your competitor.  [22:16] The WISER Methodology teaches you how to create the kinds of experiences that people want to talk about. You have to be intentional about the experience to make it so someone wants to share it.  [22:55] W stands for witty, I is immersive, S is sharable, E is extraordinary and R is responsive.  [25:18] Millennials and Gen Z in particular want a relationship with the brands they spend their hard-earned money with. In order to have a relationship, you have to have human interaction.  [26:48] We don’t have to delight in the same way every time.   [28:57] There is a part of every business where either you do it the same way as everybody else or the same way it has always been done and you can turn it into something that can be an experience when people least expect it.  [30:43] Whenever you can play to peoples’ kids or pets, you are going to hit them in the heart.  [32:36] There are lots of opportunities, but we just have to seize them and look for chances when people don’t expect it.  [35:07] With gift-giving, make sure you are giving a gift you would like to receive (i.e. don’t slap a giant logo on your “gift”).  [37:00] Shareable is the end goal and it has to be strategic and intentional.  [39:27] There are so many opportunities where we can kick it up a little notch and do something unique

    • 49 min
    Best of The Brainy Business in 2021

    Best of The Brainy Business in 2021

    So much happened in 2021 at The Brainy Business and in the Palmer household, it has been fun to reflect on it for this episode. Here are a few highlights: 
    In January, I started teaching a new class at Texas A&M University through the certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics via the Human Behavior Lab.   In March, we rolled out the new website and on May 1st, I launched my free global community of behavioral economics enthusiasts with (currently) over 500 members.  My first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You come out on May 11, 2021, and I got to be part of some amazing events this past year sharing about it and other parts of my work.  And, while I didn’t talk about it much publicly, I had a baby in 2021! The Brainy Baby, Mr. Hudson Grey Palmer, was born on August 9th and is a fantastic addition to our family.  Join me as we take a look back at all the excitement and top content of 2021. I hope you will enjoy this walkthrough of last year as much as I did. 
    Show Notes:
    [00:06] Today’s episode is showcasing the best content from The Brainy Business in 2021. [02:12] My very first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You came out on May 11, 2021! [03:49] Melina had a baby in 2021! The Brainy Baby, Mr. Hudson Grey Palmer was born on August 9th. Look how cute he is. :) [07:51] Top Countries Downloading The Brainy Business: The US is first, followed by UK, Canada, Australia, India, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain.  [09:02] Top Ten States: Coming in at number 10 Pennsylvania then New Jersey at number 9, Virginia at number 8, Illinois at number 7, Ohio at 6, Florida as number 5, New York at number 4, Washington at 3, Texas at 2, and California still with the top most downloads of 2021. [10:32] Of the 470,000 total downloads of the show so far, 250,001 have come from the US. That means nearly half of our downloads are international, which is so cool. [12:53] Of those more than 175,000 downloads of the show in 2021, and now with 184 episodes of content to choose from, we get our top 10 episodes of the year, starting with episode 136 on Temptation Bundling. [14:20] Next we have episode 165, when Matej Sucha of Mindworx and insideBE came onto the show discussing research they have done and the case studies of insideBE, which launched in 2021 as well. [15:32] At the number 8 spot we have episode 158 with Matthew Confer letting you know the three things everyone needs to do before you decide. [16:12] Next, at number 7 we have episode 160, an interview with Matt Johnson, coauthor of Blindsight. [17:20] At number 6, we have the only foundations episode to make the top 10 this year, and it was a relatively new one which is pretty cool. This is episode 171 on The Paradox of Choice. [18:33] Our top 5 kicks off with episode 164, an interview with Amy Bucher about her fantastic book Engaged, and so much more about her work in applying behavioral economics. [19:32] At number 4, is episode 140, an interview with Benny Cheung where we talked about some research he did at Dectech that was also featured in chapter 28 of my book, which showcases the importance of testing. [20:55] At number 3 we have episode 159, a behavioral economics analysis of Amazon and coming in at number 2 is episode 144, a behavioral economics analysis of Disney. [22:22] Our top most downloaded episode of 2021, which was episode 157, my interview with Robert Cialdini on his new and expanded edition of Influence, which includes a whole new 7th principle of persuasion. [23:27] One of my main tips is to play the long game and form great relationships so pitching is easier. [26:33] There has never been a month of the podcast where every episode didn’t get at least 1 download. [27:24] Let’s dig into that top 10 of all time list starting with number 10, which was episode 111, Avoiding everyday work disasters, with Gleb Tsipursky. [28:24] Next is episode 62 on Game Theory and the 8th most downloaded episode of

    • 52 min
    The Power of Fast-Choice & Implicit Testing with Cloud Army’s Keith Ewart

    The Power of Fast-Choice & Implicit Testing with Cloud Army’s Keith Ewart

    Today rounds out this miniseries of companies providing testing opportunities for businesses with a conversation about fast-choice and implicit testing with CloudArmy’s Dr. Keith Ewart. 
    During our conversation today, Keith starts by telling us all about testing and project work he did during his 24 years at Proctor and Gamble – the positives and the pitfalls – and the work he now does as VP of Insights at CloudArmy. 
    He will share about some of the issues in testing at large organizations, including being stuck executing projects that you know won’t work well because the testing took too long to come back and being too far down the track to implement something new. (So frustrating!) That’s why the super quick and incredibly effective fast-choice and implicit testing that CloudArmy does is such a great solution, which he will also give insight on. Listen now to learn all about it (and best next steps for starting your own project).
    Show Notes: [00:42] I am so excited to introduce you to Dr. Keith Ewart, partner and VP of insights at CloudArmy. [03:35] Keith shares about where he lives and his background.  [05:04] He actually started off in microbiology. After working in microbiology for about a year and a half he saw the wonderful world of insights and requested a move.  [06:38] A key part of his life at Proctor and Gamble was in packaging and developing better packaging solutions.  [07:47] The importance of understanding the packaging impact in the zero moment of truth all the way to the purchase in store.  [09:18] They were encouraged to think about multi-sensory signals.  [10:36] The third moment of truth is asking if that whole experience was so good that you want to tell your friends about it. It is important to have testimonials and brand advocates.  [12:46] The third moment of truth is not talked about in many companies.  [13:57] We want to drive the habits and at the same time we uncover what those barriers are. If we can uncover those barriers, we can put solutions in place.  [14:51] One of the biggest barriers to innovation is speed.  [16:05] Keith is a massive fan of fast cycle learning, rapid prototyping, bringing ideas to life very early on, and getting the voice of the consumer in the room as quickly as possible.  [18:15] What you really want is an individual's true response and ideally more than one or two focus groups.  [20:01] You can start to think about concepts, positioning, and using imagery to convey those brand positioning or benefits you want to get across.   [22:40] CloudArmy is a software company and programmers who have a background in the whole field.  [24:19] The beauty of a true implicit methodology is that consumers don’t even realize that they are being evaluated.  It is based solely on reaction times.  [26:28] They are using implicit tests for packaging, messaging, advertising, and across the board.  They are getting a true unconscious response to a set of stimulus.  [28:31] If you want to design your own test, it is not a problem.  The key thing is what is the objective of the client and what is the best tool to understand and utilize.  [31:03] Context is key. Defining what you are really trying to get at and what success looks like. Make sure your problem statement is defined and can be measured. Take the data and translate it to actionable insights.  [33:15] Keep things simple. People’s brains are tired and they can’t cope with so much information.  [34:00] How many people can truly say they know what their brand stands for? What does the consumer really think is the most important component of their brand? [36:27] Everyone should spend more time understanding the problem.    [38:20] The more constraints you put in place the longer time it will take. It is often beneficial to keep the sample broad.  [41:14] When you get everyone in the room together all trying to create and you get the toolkits around to help evaluate these things, you can m

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
131 Ratings

131 Ratings

Roberto Font ,

Beyond Impressed

Well, I have got to say, I am impressed with the work Melina Palmer has done. She is very meticulous in detail with her explanations and I'm seeing the things that she explains on the podcast in my day to day life. That quality of work should not be available for free, but I'm glad she provides it.

KatieMoof ,

Not Only Fascinating, But So Useful

This podcast always gives me surprising new insights.

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Melina, host of the Brainy Business podcast, highlights all aspects of behavioral economics and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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