The Big Issue was set up to offer people ‘a hand up, not a hand-out’ however research shows that 80% of people who pay for the magazine don’t take it. This undermines the purpose of The Big Issue.
TBA worked with The Big Issue to understand the key behavioural drivers and develop targeted nudges to change this behaviour.
Deep behavioural research: Interviews with key stakeholders at TBI and ethnographic research of TBI vendors to explore buying and selling behaviour in-context
Isolating key behavioural insights: Identifying key barriers that stood in the way of our behavioural mission
Development of nudges: Design of simple, cheap and effective interventions to tackle the key behavioural challenges identified
In-field testing: The three proposed nudges were trialled in Bristol
Revealed there was a loss of transactional status in the relationship between buyer and seller. People had stopped viewing the Big Issue as a product to purchase.
To re-establish the transactional element, we re-framed TBI as a product and made the price more salient. Initial testing showed a 46% increase in sales over 2 weeks.
TBI sellers were encouraged to disrupt the status quo by using quirky vocal callouts. Initial results saw a 39% sales increase.
We recommended using flyers & posters in 3rd spaces like cafes to re-educate people to the TBI mission. TBI are currently seeking a partner to support this initiative.