Not that sort of penalty

You’re probably thinking that this article might have something to do with England’s dramatic penalty shootout win on Tuesday (it’s coming home!).

But it isn’t.

However, it IS about another sort of penalty – the kind that can change behaviour for the better.

This week, the BBC website ran a story about how the University of Winchester managed to reduce their disposable coffee cup usage by 34,000 in just one year, and it was all fuelled by a subtle change in their pricing, rather than some other revolutionary incentive.

For several years, the university had been offering a 25p discount if you brought your own cup – the same incentive Starbucks have been using for a while.

And it worked okay.  But it didn’t reduce the single coffee cup usage enough.

So, after some thought, they changed things around, by reducing the price of the cost of a coffee by 25p, and introducing a 25p penalty if you didn’t bring your own cup.

Nothing really changed – your cost of a coffee would be the same before and after, but psychologically, the idea of penalty was sufficiently unattractive enough to change behaviour.

And in just one year, usage went down by 34,000.

It’s a super smart strategy, and it highlights the power that pricing can have on consumer behaviour – is there anything you can take from it and use in your business?

If you fancy reducing your coffee cup wastage, why not grab some of your own branded coffee cups?  Click HERE to check out our range now.

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