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Interview: Sue Benson, managing director of The Behaviours Agency

Sue Benson is a brand, business and behavioural strategist and has worked with brands such as Nike, Silentnight, Sharps Bedrooms, Clarks and M&S.   What does… View Article


Interview: Sue Benson, managing director of The Behaviours Agency

Sue Benson is a brand, business and behavioural strategist and has worked with brands such as Nike, Silentnight, Sharps Bedrooms, Clarks and M&S.


What does your company do? / What is your USP?

The Behaviours Agency is a creative agency that uses behavioural science to develop impactful ideas that grow retailers and brands. We call it:


What’s special about your approach?

We’re passionately committed to the belief that understanding consumer behaviour, informed through the lens of behavioural science, is the only way we and our clients can begin to creatively solve the myriad of marketing challenges we face today.

Using our unique behavioural opportunities model ‘BE.CREATE’ we understand the decisions customers make along their entire journey and can use this to influence their behaviour.

‘BE.CREATE’ identifies opportunities

Our model identifies the opportunities to influence the behaviours that affect people’s decisions towards businesses, brands and products. From the research insight we create a behavioural map showing three core dimensions which reflect the behavioural biases in a marketplace: audience, brand and competitor.

‘BE.CREATE’ unlocks growth

Identifying insights is one thing (we’re all trying to cope with data overload) but creating growth strategies is another. And ‘BE.CREATE’ unlocks unique brand territories that are rooted in behavioural science.

‘BE.CREATE’ delivers impactful creative

TM.BE gives us clear direction for strategies to nudge action and greater breadth of creative ideas. In doing this we create greater opportunities for brands to connect more meaningfully and effectively with their customers.

Our ultimate goal is to embed brands into the customer’s subconscious, delivering this has generated incredible commercial success for our clients.

How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success? 

Integrated creative campaigns (content/tv/press/digital/in store/packaging) across a spectrum of KPI”S including sales, market share and brand equity. 

How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like?

By really understanding their customers they are able to develop communication across the entire customer journey that influences their customers to behave favourably towards the brand. As the very essence of Behavioural science is experimentation a constant approach to test and learn also delivers greater return.

What advantage does it add?

In a nutshell more effective creative communication that benefits from our behavioural design led thinking and execution.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2019 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2019?

It goes without saying that declining footfall and maximising the physical estate remains the overriding issue. If we combine that with the growing direct to consumer march, reduced cut through with traditional marketing techniques, keeping abreast of new channels and technology, creating unique retail experiences that compete with those of the disrupter/challenger brands, engaging with store colleagues who want purposeful employers, and the requirement to have a true single view of customer on an increasingly fragmented journey, then frankly who’d be a retailer!

How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?

These challenges bring with them amazing opportunities and success stories all stem from the same place – a deep understanding of customers current and future behaviour coupled with a clear and compelling brand story. And never standing still – but that’s what retail the joy of retail is – fast and furious. Luckily that’s what our company is all about – insight and ideas that drive constant action.

What is on the horizon for you as a company?

Developing solutions that deliver faster return for retailers – such as our Behavioural Design Sprints which are based on the proven Design Sprint system created by Jake Knapp and his associates at Google Ventures but with the added benefit of being supercharged through the power of applied behavioural science. When applied to retail solutions we can quickly test anything from retail concepts to apps to new services.

Any final thoughts?

The Behaviours Agency has worked with retailers for over 20 years and it’s always been tough. For us though there has always been the same challenges; acquisition and conversion – the only other difference now is the speed of response required to just to keep up.

BIO: Sue Benson is a brand, business and behavioural strategist and has worked with brands such as Nike, Silentnight, Sharps Bedrooms, Clarks and M&S.



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