Making #Ethanol the Consumers’ Choice

Cindy Zimmerman

nec16-willcoxAn expert on consumer marketing offered some recommendations on how to make ethanol the natural choice for consumers during the National Ethanol Conference (NEC) in New Orleans this week.

Matthew Willcox, executive director of the Institute of Decision Making, gave a presentation on how insights from behavioral science can be used by fuel marketers to affect consumer choice at the pump regarding ethanol use. Willcox also released a report on the topic, which was commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Among his recommendations:

Rather than pitching products on the basis of benefits, ethanol marketers should also consider how to mitigate the feelings of potential losses that may arise when moving from the status quo choice.

Make the example of others adopting the behavior change you require visible to the people whose behavior you want to change. For ethanol, marketers might consider making messages about how many cars are powered by ethanol, how many miles are driven, or simply how many people have chosen ethanol-based fuels more prominent.

Framing benefits in the present is important. So to communicate the benefit that ethanol based fuels are cleaner, think about how that can be made visceral and immediate.

Listen to Willcox’s presentation here: Matthew Willcox at NEC16

2016 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

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