by: Matt Rhodes

We posted last week about how customers sometimes do not know what they want. About how they cannot always articulate what they think, or how they are not always aware of what the opportunities and options might be. There is a third reason why it can be difficult to work with customers on co-creation - because they are not always aware of what decisions they make and why they make them. We are not, it turns out, as rational as we might think, or hope.

Image by nickwheeleroz via Flickr

At FreshNetworks, we are fans of the work of Dan Ariely. There is a lot in his research in behavioural economics that has real resonance and application to online communities and co-creation. From incentivisation (and why paying people is a bad way to motivate them) to why we declare our preference for one product over another. There is much here for us to learn both about how people will behave in online communities, but also how we should design them to get the best and most useful set of insights for brands.

The video below is a great introduction to rationality and why our decisions are not always as much in our control as we might think. As Ariely says, we wake up in the morning and we feel that we make our decisions. But this is not true; in practice many of these decisions do not reside in us. So if you want to know why consumers behave as they do and how we can work with them in online communities then this is a good starting point.

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

The video comes from the great series of TED videos. There are some other really great talks and presentations there that are worth watching.

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