Brands And Organ Donation
In Belgium 98% of car drivers donate their organs, in Denmark only 4% of drivers do.
Is this some cultural difference? No, it’s because on the license application there is a tick box. In Belgium the tick box is to opt out of organ donation, in Denmark the tick box is to opt in for organ donation.
Most people believe that organ donation is a good thing so this is not a question of ethics.
The difference between opting in and opting out is huge. And it can’t really be the physical effort of ticking a box that puts people off. Behavioural economists tell us that it is the mental effort.
Making a decision requires a lot of mental effort and decisions like organ donation are particularly troublesome (even if we don’t realise it). It is far easier to not make a decision, hence the tick boxes remain unticked.
This is an insight into the human brain that those of us that work in marketing would do well to heed. If brains can avoid making decisions they tend to and if we want to change behaviour the more we can take the decision making out of the equation the better.
At their best, brands help consumers get what they want or need without having to make difficult decisions: they make it easy, not just physically easy (thank you Amazon) but also emotionally easy (thank you Apple).
By standing for something very clear and differentiated, brands make decision making easy for consumers. And that in a nutshell sums up marketing.