Impact Customer Behavior By Gain, Pain, Or Rules Change

There are three ways to affect customer behavior:

  • Gain – They will experience an advantage by doing things differently.
  • Pain – They will avoid or lessen negative consequences.
  • Rules Change – It is the way things are done within their operational universe.

It’s that simple.  If  one of those doesn’t happen for your customers, don’t expect their behavior to be different.  

To see a substantial or immediate difference, you must raise the degree of Gain, Pain, or Rules Change.  Here are three examples:

  1. Substantial Gain – eCommerce – Customers can buy what they want, when they want it, quickly and at a good price.
  2. Immediate Pain – Gasoline over $4.00/gal. – Just ask the car manufacturers how much and how quickly customer behavior changed.
  3. Immediate Rules Change – Government incentive for first-time home buyers – When it went away, existing home sales dropped 27%.

Gasoline over $4.00 per gallon

These were three macro-examples, but the idea translates to each market, each company.  Do you use pricing or give-aways to promote gain?  Is scarcity a “pain” tool you can utilize?  Is there a way to revise distributor rules to incent sales?

Check your marketing plan.  Are Gain, Pain, or Rules Change in it?  If not, don’t expect to impact your customers’ behavior.


About bobcouch

Bob Couch is the president of OROGEN Marketing in Menlo Park, CA. During his almost 30 year career he has worked with some the the biggest brands in the world, and several Silicon Valley startups. OROGEN Marketing provides a comprehensive set of marketing tools to help their clients grow big, and bigger.
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