I feel that as a society, we live very unreflective lives and in the process, do our businesses and ourselves a dis-service.
We power on from one event to another, rarely stopping to reflect. How am I/we going? How could I/we be better? Has my/our behaviours and decisions reflected my/our values? I believe there is power in us being reflective and asking our consumers or customers to also be reflective. Why? Because it’s more likely that people will learn and make genuine behavioural changes in their lives if they practice reflective learning.
This great article I read some time ago from Harvard Business School has gone around in my head and really stirred the marketer in me to think about the power that reflective learning can have on behavioural change. And that’s what this blog is about, changing behaviour, one of the main aims of the Marketing function.
If marketers can make consumers or customers think about their actions, what they have bought, what they have sampled or experienced, or the decisions that they have made, then there is a greater likelihood that behavioural change will result. And the HBR article validates this.
So, if I assume for a moment that the product or service you are selling is valuable/effective/helpful, then, once you have had the chance for your prospect to trial your offer, then you should endeavour to seek feedback on that experience. By using such reflective learning techniques, you are reinforcing the positive story about your product/brand/service in a way that is more likely to result in a positive behavioural change towards your offer.
There are a number of reflective behaviour applications I feel could help us and our brands.
As an individual: Stop and think about what you are doing. What you have done well or badly? Try to pinpoint areas for improvement and learn from your actions. Seek feedback from others, so you don’t deceive yourself. Every decision you make is a reflection of your values.
As a team leader: Get the team to reflect on their performance. Employ techniques like “Kill, Keep, Add”. As a team what should we stop doing (Kill)? What should we continue doing (because we’re doing it well)? And, What should we start doing to make ourselves even better?
As a marketer: In those places where you offer your product or service proposition, ask your consumer or customers for some reflection on the product service given. If you can ‘sample/trial’ your offer then do so and seek reflective feedback.
It’s really no different from life – considered feedback is like sharpening your sword – it makes you more effective! And now there is some evidence that suggests the process of reflective thinking could have positive benefits to your business.