Nudging: Little nudge, big effect
If you push for positive change with all your might, you will encounter resistance. More skillful: a little push in the right direction.
Whenever communication wants to persuade the recipient to do something, it meets with resistance. Rarely, for whatever reason, do people want to be told what to do or not to do. “Nudging” can be the answer.
What is "nudging"?
For exactly one year, a working group of behavioral scientists has been advising the German government on how to “govern effectively” with psychological tricks. Experts call the methodology used “nudging,” which stands for the use of emotional stimuli. The aim is to get the recipient to make spontaneous decisions that are good for him or for society.
Examples of successful "nudging"
Famous examples of nudging are deterrent pictures of smokers’ lungs on cigarette packets or the fly in the urinal, which ensures more accuracy in the men’s restroom. Nudging is also used at E&Z in the interests of sustainability when the printer prints on both sides of the paper as standard. The beauty of this method is that the “nudge” is only a well-intentioned incentive. Freedom of action is not restricted at any point – there is always the option to “opt out”.
"Nudging" in communication
The findings of nudging experts can also be used in communication. For example, with regard to how information is provided. Because small details often make a big difference: For example, the order in which information is passed on plays a major role in terms of how it is received. The availability and visibility of information is also an important factor: a clearly designed website with visually highlighted markers and deliberately placed stimulus words that particularly emphasize topics relevant to the target group is logically more likely to convince people to click and read on. If nudging strategies are used carefully and not misused for manipulation, they can be effective means of convincing already inclined target groups to engage further with a company and its messages.