My fascination with the notion of disrupting consumer habits began as an experiment on myself, when I made a choice to transform my life habits – my thinking, my health, my spirituality – through a rigorous effort to quit doing what was bad for me, and to implement daily practices that made me feel better.
The good news is that, through repetition, I was able to form—and maintain—new habits for myself, ones that served me far better than those I’d discarded. In the process I felt my body and mind transform; my attitude toward life changed and my thought patterns became more keenly focused. It wasn’t easy; old habits are tough to break, because the behavioral patterns we repeat are literally etched into our neural pathways – but I’m proof it can be done.
Fascinated by the idea of applying my methods to altering consumer habits, I began to read more about this phenomenon of behavioural science, which was widely written about in business books written back when I was a kid in the ‘70s. I was intrigued by the capacity and degree to which human behaviour can be altered by environmental factors, such as learning and social experience. Basically, a higher degree of plasticity makes a person more flexible to change, whereas a lower degree of plasticity results in an inflexible behaviour pattern. Throughout our lives, our brains continue to develop and create new neural pathways that determine our behaviour.
This is called Behavioural Plasticity and you don’t have to be a neuroscientist to see that it answers many simple yet profound questions about how we humans operate, and how habits can be changed. Having had the experience of transformation at an individual level, I pondered the application of Behavioural Plasticity in the commercial world; how entire companies might be transformed, if only they could change their customers’ habits.
At Fresh, we’ve found a way to do just that. Our pioneering research around the potential for behavioural transformation can make the difference between failure and success for many products, brands and companies today.