Home Resources How behavioral science helped to uncover the drivers and barriers to product use

How behavioral science helped to uncover the drivers and barriers to product use

3 mins read
The challenge

Our client wanted to understand the drivers and barriers to use of their product, in order to inform and fine-tune their launch tactics. Prescribing behavior in launched markets was slow, despite the lack of novel treatments and the high uptake of another, recently launched competitor.

There was a clear need to identify top-of-mind opportunities and barriers for the product, but also yield more fundamental and emotive drivers of behavior; and with these insights, uncover how any barriers could be resolved.


The solution

Within the context of this market landscape, our solution compromised three key elements:

  • Focus groups: With a split of users and non-users of the product, groups provided an ideal platform to effectively unearth both the barriers to use, but more importantly to evaluate what factors may compel the non-users along the adoption ladder. The groups facilitated a healthy level of interaction and debate, and live viewing encouraged us to absorb ‘unspoken’ attitudes.
  • Layered approach: In addition to direct questioning, supported by a series of projective techniques, we also incorporated creative, behavioral-led research tasks to access the non-rational and help unearth underlying drivers and barriers.
  • Targeting our insights: We interrogated the data to a deeper level by identifying underlying biases that were both driving and inhibiting product adoption. A thorough understanding of behavioral science theory and how to interpret it, was key in developing our unique insights.


Markets: Germany, UK


The outputs

The range of behavioral science techniques used enabled us to successfully identify the underlying influences on behaviors, both positive and negative. Crucially, our analysis captured numerous beliefs which act as barriers to product use. Examples include biases around:

  • Loss aversion: Confidence and comfort with current newer competitors.
  • Self-efficacy: A lack of confidence in handling logistics related to the product.
  • Cognitive load: Low marketing exposure throughout the pandemic reduced confidence in the product.


Re-framing and re-shaping such beliefs were key and we were able to provide recommendations to overcome behavioral influences inhibiting adoption. This included for example, optimising communication strategies and exposing physicians, post-pandemic, to more touchpoints thereby driving enthusiasm for and confidence in the brand. This recommendation among others, provided strategic insight into overcoming a number of heuristics. The findings from our research:

  • Identified ‘true’, underlying drivers and barriers to use
  • Suggested methods for overcoming barriers based on current behaviours and attitudes
  • Provided further insights into improving future marketing activity


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