How behavioural science could make branding better

Mark Hauser, applied behavioural scientist at branding agency The Team, discusses how psychology could create more effective, human-centred creative work

So much of branding, design and advertising is about influencing people’s behaviour, so it’s perhaps strange that there aren’t stronger links between behavioural science and commercial creativity. For Mark Hauser, who’s an applied behavioural scientist at branding agency The Team, there’s a rich seam of opportunity here that many companies are yet to mine.

“The commonality between branding and design is people,” he tells CR. “So we’re always designing for people. And behavioural science is fundamentally the study and understanding of people.

“I think it’s important to emphasise it’s not just an empathetic understanding – which is super important and you see a lot in human-centred design. I think it’s fundamental we have that, but I’d also say it goes beyond that empathetic understanding of people and what their lives look like, what their motivations might be, and into an understanding of the cognitive processes, and how they receive information, filter out and think about all the different sensory inputs we’re exposed to at any given second.”

Hauser says that behavioural science could give much-needed input into the many subtle factors that influence people’s decision-making and beliefs, from social dynamics and the physical environment, through to the ways other people shape our behaviour.