360i Summit: Reimagine Behavior with Charles Duhigg

October 20, 2015

This post marks the first of our event content series on the themes and takeaways from the 2015 360i Marketing Leadership Summit. For a preview of the posts to follow, please view our teaser post, “The Top 10 Highlights from 360i’s Marketing Leadership Summit.”

At this year’s event, we explored how to “Reimagine (Almost) Everything,” and learned how some of the world’s leading marketers and media companies are navigating change and shaping the future of our industry as it moves from being TV-led to digitally led.


In our opening keynote, Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter and Bestselling Author of “The Power of Habit,” shared several lessons on how to reimagine behavior by understanding how habits are formed.


What We Learned:

  • Deliver Rewards Consumers Want: Every habit has three components – the cue for the behavior to start, the routine or habit itself and ultimately a reward. Marketers can change how consumers’ habits unfold by focusing on the cues and rewards, as opposed to the behavior itself. Charles discussed how Febreze air fresheners did this by shifting its campaign messaging from helping consumers get rid of bad smells, to making whatever is sprayed smell as good as it looks. By reframing the reward for consumers, Febreze’s sales exploded, making it the category definer.
  • Even Bad Habits Exist for Good Reasons: Every habit at a company exists because it delivers a reward to someone. Charles shared that in order to make organizational change, it’s essential to figure out what the reward is and how to replicate it in a different way. By doing so, organizations can eliminate silos and take advantage of new opportunities.
  • The Most Powerful Rewards Contain Emotions: The rewards that create the strongest, most durable habits give people a sense of satisfaction and provide a genuine emotional experience. Charles cited how Starbucks teaches employees to make willpower – the greatest correlator to success – a habit in how they interact with consumers. By empowering staff to feel in control and professional, even with difficult customers, Starbucks employees can maintain the in-store experience everyone has come to expect from the coffee chain.

By diagnosing the cues and rewards in people’s lives, you can teach anyone – whether consumers, organizations or employees – how to change.

Next, we’ll share Post II of our series: “360i Summit: Reimagine Marketing & Featured Case Studies.”