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  • Writer's pictureNigel Rushman

Mastering the Art of Winning: The Role of Behavioural Science in Securing Success


As well as our work in Sport, Rushmans has become a ‘not so secret’ weapon for organisations facing challenges and opportunities in other spheres. Working with our partners, we have achieved some notable successes. Frustrating as it may be for us, we are bound by our client's confidentiality. However, we can speak about our strategic approach, techniques and methodology. So let’s take a quick look at deploying Behavioural Science.


In the quest for success, whether securing a military or political advantage, winning a competitive tender, or clinching a major business deal, the strategic application of behavioural science can be a game-changer. This post explores how understanding human behaviour and decision-making can be leveraged to turn opportunities into victories across various contexts and around the globe.


The Science Behind Success

Behavioural science studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural, and social factors on the decisions made by individuals and institutions. By applying these insights, professionals can design strategies that significantly enhance the likelihood of achieving their desired outcomes.


Strategic Applications in Diverse Arenas


1. Political Campaigns

In political campaigns, voter segmentation and targeted messaging are pivotal. For example, during the 2012 US Presidential Election, the Obama campaign used sophisticated data analytics to segment voters and tailor messages that resonated with specific demographics. Similarly, in the UK, microtargeting strategies have been employed to influence voter behaviour in tightly contested constituencies. By understanding the behavioural tendencies of voters, campaigns can design communication strategies that effectively influence electoral outcomes.


2. Business Pitches and Tenders

Understanding a client's needs and biases is crucial in crafting compelling business proposals. For instance, in the technology sector, companies in Asia often emphasise innovation and cutting-edge solutions to appeal to forward-thinking clients. In Europe, firms in the construction industry might focus on sustainability and regulatory compliance to address the concerns of environmentally conscious stakeholders. By leveraging behavioural insights, businesses can tailor their pitches to align with the client's priorities, increasing the chances of winning tenders and securing contracts.


3. Competitive Challenges

Companies frequently use behavioural insights to outmanoeuvre competitors in market entry strategies or product launches. A notable example is Amazon's entry into new markets. By analysing consumer behaviour and preferences, Amazon tailors its offerings to meet local demands effectively. This strategic use of behavioural science allows companies to gain a competitive edge, attract customers, and establish a strong market presence.


Techniques for Winning

  • Microtargeting: Using data to pinpoint and influence key decision-makers or voter groups. This technique was famously used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 US Presidential Election, where targeted Facebook ads were deployed to sway undecided voters in swing states.

  • Persuasive Communication involves crafting messages that align closely with the audience’s values and needs. For example, Coca-Cola’s "Share a Coke" campaign personalised bottles with popular names, creating an emotional connection with consumers and boosting sales.

  • Scenario Planning: Employing predictive models to prepare for various outcomes and dynamically adjust strategies. Companies like Shell use scenario planning to anticipate future market conditions and guide strategic decisions.


The strategic use of behavioural science offers a robust framework for not just competing but excelling in various challenges globally. By understanding and influencing behaviour, professionals can craft more effective strategies that are tailored to the nuances of their specific goals. At Rushmans, we leverage these insights to help our clients achieve their objectives, whether in politics, business, or beyond. From start-ups, governments and multi-national corporations, budgets large and small, all can benefit from the application of this great tool.


How have you seen behavioural science applied in your professional or personal challenges? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below, and let’s discuss how these strategies can be creatively and ethically implemented across different fields.


Don't forget to share this post to help spread the word about the transformative power of behavioural science!


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