Fusebox EPFL

Motivation changes behaviour of people

Facing the challenge by reducing long transportation ways or by convincing people to buy more seasonal products were mentioned already. In order to initiate a change in peoples buying patterns, I propose to inform them what they are doing.

Grocery stores could install (instead of an advertisement, in public space near the exit of the store) a info display panel where you see the current statistic about origin and seasonality of actual bought products. A world map with red lines among the travelling route to your current location might be seen as catchy picture. This picture should motivate you to change!

In a further option, you could introduce a little game where consumers earn points for good behaviour.

Nadina - Buhler Expert Mar 17, 2014

I like that you try to motivate people and not forbid anything since putting a positive spin on things usually works much better...

Your idea could fit well together with an idea on labelling like "Proximity & seasonality scores for clever consumption".

The one question I have on this type of concept is how we could make this worthwile for the grocery store, what benefits do they have? Maybe to generate publicity? Do you have any thoughts about the economical side?

Florian Scheidegger Mar 17, 2014

In fact I am not really sure what is the best way, but I have some thoughts in mind.

Generally, grocery stores have an interest into been seen sustainable by the people. For example, McDonalds has changed the background colour of their logo from red to green and Migros and Coop have their local products and lets them call “get sustainable” programs, in term of labels and advertisements. Thus activities to reduce wast among the food chain fits perfectly into their concepts. The publicity and the perception of their brand could be improved.

But to make the concept a bit more concrete you could think using the actual bought products and the identification of a consumer via a club card (as m-cumulus or supercard or similar) as input for the system. The same concept of customer profiling (which I guess is intensively used) could be linked with tailored marketing. Advertising local products to customers which are buying the product in question but from fare away could by done. This concept is able to compete with default advertising strategies. (Just think how much money is spent for a single advertising minute on TV and think how relatively cheap the equipment is to implement the given idea).

Further discussion is needed to decide if the whole project should be lunched only to improve the own brand perception or if there should be a business behind. I could think of selling the advertisement spots by auction to third parties. The key question is to find the right balance, with too much advertisements the original idea is completely lost but with selling no or to less advertisement spots additional money is not earned.