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Consumer Engagement

Imagine using data to inform consumers by showing them their own behavior? Targeted messaging and constant monitoring/evaluation, can all be used to inspire behavior change. Access to information can be a powerful tool to change individual patterns.

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Written by DeletedUser

I was recently inspired tonight when a friend told me a bit about OPOWER:

Although their work is focused on voluntary demand reduction to promote energy-efficiency, perhaps this type of program can be used for other initiatives where voluntary behavior change is desired. Normative messaging shows individuals how they measure up to their peers which in itself is motivation to do something. In the spirit of simplicity, OPOWER gives relevant and achievable advice on how a consumer can change their own behavior to achieve a better outcome.

I can't help but think how can this methodology be used to promote local production and engage consumers in a different conversation about how they shop and what they choose to eat.


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This is great stuff and I firmly believe that we must understand the trends of where human behavior is heading if we want to effectively connect food production and consumption. In terms of engaging the consumer along the lines described in this Inspiration, it makes sense to use the messaging not just to provide the consumer with the type of experience they might want (such as bringing the family together; maintaining health, providing variety, etc.) but also to make the consumer aware of the consequences of their own purchasing decisions on other individuals (such as purchasing from a small farmer at a farmer's market and the impact that this decision has on the farmer and his family as opposed to purchasing bulk lettuce from the supermarket and the impact this might have on the workers at this farm).

The age of social media is about "connection". Often this "connection" is with friends and family on Facebook or fellow faceless collaborators on a website like Open IDEO. Technologies similar to OPOWER provide the opportunity to connect consumers of food with the story and the people behind the production of their food.

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