09 April 2019 Icon Agency Announces MOU with RMIT Behavioural Business Lab

Integrated creative services firm Icon Agency (Icon) will collaborate with RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab (BBL) on social marketing, large-scale web development and behaviour change campaigns.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed this month, RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab will partner with Icon on joint bids for projects with social impact across digital, marketing and advertising disciplines.

The MOU reflects the growing importance of behavioural business and economics in integrated marketing and communication, where insights-led targeting, testing and measurement of behavioural change are key. 

In an Australian first, Icon will also apply the BBL’s research and methodology to major website builds and user-experience design, effectively extending behavioural business into the web development sphere.

Icon Agency Founding Director, Christopher Dodds, said the application of behavioural economics insights and research had the potential to transform current web development approaches along with traditional behaviour change marketing. 

“This partnership is particularly noteworthy as it allows Icon to tap into the extensive data analysis and testing capabilities of the BBL when planning and implementing large-scale digital engagement platforms for government and organisations,” Mr Dodds said. 

“We’re honoured and excited to be partnering with a research institution of BBL’s calibre and experience. With our combined skills, we are looking forward to continuing to innovate Australian marketing and digital practice in pursuit of positive social change.” 

RMIT BBL Chair, Dr Janneke Blijlevens, said the partnership was born after Icon saw Sans Forgetica, the font designed to help people remember more of what they read – a collaboration between the BBL and RMIT typography lecturer Stephen Banham last year.

“As researchers, we’re focused on translating our insights into real world impact. We’re especially grateful to be partnering with Icon so we’ll see our research insights come to life and, hopefully, have a positive impact shaping the world,” Dr Blijlevens said.

“The partnership combines our complementary knowledge and expertise in behavioural business research, UX, digital design and communication. This will help us provide evidence and insights towards interventions that influence positive behaviour change, and allow us to design and deliver more impactful products and campaigns.”

The collaboration gives Icon Agency access to the full capabilities and expertise of the RMIT BBL, including:

  • Generating insights through data and behavioural research to inform website IA, product design, social marketing campaigns, media planning etc. 
  • Translating consumer needs/concerns and segments into testable interventions
  • Testing interventions (sub and full) on intended behaviours and preferences/attitudes
  • Measuring and monitoring impact 

What is Behavioural Economics?

Often associated with ‘nudge theory’, behavioural economics (BE) combines economics, psychology and human insights to better understand how consumers make decisions. 

Behavioural economics taps into the little things that encourage people to change or adopt new behaviours. By leveraging psychological insights like loss aversion or social proof, behavioural economics can work to promote uptake of a particular behaviour, or ease a perceived risk. 

For example, hearing that most hotel guests reuse towels can make everyone more likely to do so because it’s the norm. Likewise, consumers value losing something twice as much as gaining something. So, if you communicate the ‘cost’ of losing energy through waste you will be more effective than promoting savings.

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Icon Agency is a multi-disciplinary team of digital strategists, UX designers, creative and communications experts. Icon partners with governments and organisations to uncover needs, develop content and consumer engagement strategies, craft user-centred designs and build next generation digital products and services that build communities around brands and services. They are experts in large-scale behaviour change campaigns, and have partnered with the RMIT Behavioural Business Lab to extend their business economics capabilities. See iconagency.com.au for our experience and approach..

The RMIT Behavioural Business Lab is a multi-disciplinary team studying business decision-making using psychological approaches. Their mission is to promote behavioural business research and behavioural business education at RMIT University to beneficially impact their stakeholders in academia, business, public policy and the wider community. They have partnered with Icon Agency to extend their usability and experience design capabilities. See rmit.edu.au/bbl for more information on the Lab.