How can we create an on-line experience that engages customers?


Client: Chautauqua Institution

How can we create a compelling on-line learning experience that will expand our customer base?


  • Developed a strategy based on a review of customer purchasing data, customer interviews, and consultations with renown distance learning and web development experts.
  • Reshaped the organization’s highly successful in-person educational experience to make it as engaging online as it was in person.
  • Created new ways for customers to interact with the organization and each other online, and equipped satisfied customers with viral marketing tools that allowed them to share the experience with friends and family.

Attracted considerable funding from donors. Implementation is pending.

Persuading US homeowners to purchase flood insurance


Client: Federal Emergency Management Agency: FEMA

How can we use official agency communications with homeowners in flood-prone areas to help boost purchases of flood insurance?


  • Developed a new template for FEMA’s direct mail communications with homeowners in risk-prone areas
  • Leveraged lessons from social psychology, behavioral economics, and the science of human decision making, including…
  • Social norms
  • The loss aversion principle
  • Framing
  • Providing clear, straightforward “next steps”

Initial pilot results indicate that recipients of the new letter are far more likely to purchase flood insurance than recipients of the old letter.

Persuading fleet drivers to adopt fuel-efficient behaviors


Client: Environmental Defense Fund and PHH Arval

How can large vehicle fleet managers persuade their vehicle operators to become more fuel-efficient drivers?


  • Developed a turn-key program for changing driver behavior that almost any fleet could implement
  • Provided examples of highly effective messaging, outreach channels, leverage points and collaboration with key influencers
  • Provided recommendations regarding the presentation of telematics data to drivers
  • Outlined incentive schemes (including mileage-based rewards) and other tools for influencing driver behavior
  • All program components were rooted in findings taken from interviews, surveys, behavioral economics, social-psychology research, and consultations with industry and subject-matter experts

Although savings data are proprietary, our recommendations are saving fuel and money and are being widely implemented. Anecdotal evidence suggests that fleets adopting our program see a 10-20% drop in fuel consumption.

Persuading US drivers to buy cleaner vehicles


Client: US EPA SmartWay Program and the US Dept. of Transportation

How can we nudge car buyers towards more environmentally friendly purchasing decisions?


  • Assisted EPA with the development of its original “SmartWay” clean car labeling program.  Smartway helps consumers identify the cleanest and most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their needs
  • Our work included stakeholder analysis and the development of early SmartWay branding and communication strategies for three different audiences: car buyers, car-makers, and environmentalists – no easy feat!


  • Today, vehicle greenhouse gas and smog emissions information appears on the window sticker of all new cars in the US
  • EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide highlights cars earning the SmartWay designation, and is one of the most popular sources of information about vehicle environmental performance online.  See

Encouraging employees to act sustainably


Client: United Parcel Service (UPS)

How can we engage UPS employees around the world to reduce their personal carbon footprints?


  • Developed ten specific, measurable, actions that employees could take in each of four core areas of sustainability: energy, fuel, waste, and water
  • These specific, measurable, actions were incorporated into a secure website where UPS employees, friends and family could set personal goals, record their efforts, and track their personal carbon footprint based on the actions they take
  • By rolling up personal accomplishments (e.g., water and energy saved, fuel conserved, and waste avoided), employees and their families can view how their efforts contribute toward the greater good of the UPS community
  • Website design and all messaging leveraged lessons from social psychology, behavioral economics, and the science of human decision making, including:

Providing clear, straightforward, actionable instructions

Quantifying the economic and environmental benefits of each action

Providing immediate, meaningful feedback to participants on the impact of their actions

Garnering written, public commitments from participants

Social norms

The loss aversion principle


TBD.  Initial end-user testing was very encouraging.