Money’s tight and getting tighter… how consumers are coping, and how BeSci can help

15 June 2023

The cost of living crisis shows no signs of slowing, in fact it only seems to be worsening - just this week financial markets have predicted it is almost certain we will see further interest rate rises later in June meaning the cost of mortgages and other loans will increase and will also inhibit business growth.

So how are consumers coping? And how can BeSci help companies to connect with consumers in these times?

Across a new, three-part series, published in The Marketing Society, we look at three key challenges facing consumers in this difficult time, and how behavioural science can provide insights to increase understanding, empathy, and help build connection with consumers.

In Part 1 we explore:

  • why we are seeing consumers focus on the present more;

  • a ‘seize the day’ mentality;

  • why the 'lipstick effect’ of people buying more little luxuries is occurring;

  • and, why people are not making larger or systemic behaviour changes.

Part 2 digs into:

  • why consumers are struggling to navigate rapidly increasing prices.

  • the resulting consumer strategies;

  • why the use of cash has increased;

  • and, how budgeting behaviour is changing…

Finally, in Part 3:

  • People crave stability…but that’s in short supply right now - we use a BeSci lens to explain how consumers are responding to huge uncertainties in the economy.

  • We dig into the strategies consumers are using to mitigate feelings of uncertainty;

  • explore how this situation is triggering varied behaviours;
    • how some consumers are locking some certainty back in;

    • and, why some are clinging to existing routines and habits.

Throughout each part you’ll find our insights into behavioural science backed strategies that organisations can employ to support and connect with consumers as they navigate each of these challenges.

Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and, Part 3 here


Enter your email address below to receive a monthly round up of our blog posts:



The Behavioural Architects' articles are always stimulating, entertaining and informative and make BE principles both engaging as well as usable for all our readers Editor Impact Magazine and
Our digital clubhouse which is designed to inspire, share best practice and delight would be very different without The Behavioural Architects Gemma Greaves Global Managing Director The Marketing society
Its client testimonials show it has made behavioural economics accessible and actionable MRS judges ‘best new agency’ award
TBA have brought behavioural science thinking to some of our challenges in a way that is accessible for colleagues from across the business and has created actionable outputs Martin Bryant, Senior Consumer Insights Manager, KFC UK and Ireland
The Behavioural Architects did a great job of understanding our needs in this multinational project. They used a behavioural-led methodology to deliver clear and actionable output Ruchika Khattar, Global Marketing Innovation Manager, PepsiCo
One of the best articulated deliveries of insight I have seen in 20 years in the research sector. Damian Stevenson, Head of Insight at the Amateur Swimming Association
The behaviour change research has been the lynchpin of our entire new strategy to get more people swimming Nick Caplin, Amateur Swimming Association, Director of Participation
I’ve worked with TBA on a number of studies... all of them have allowed us to get to a depth of insight into basic behaviour that has transcended borders. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
The magic comes from how TBA works with us to get to simple, actionable ideas using the BE principles. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
Every project has resulted in activities that have unlocked growth for Diageo but, importantly, they’re also pieces of work that we keep going back to and that continue to inform new activities long after the original studies were run. Catherine Moffatt, Vice President Global Shopper Planning & Customer Marketing, Diageo
We tasked TBA with a challenging brief on a national survey and they exceeded all our expectations throughout the process Jennifer Bufton, Sport England 
Their enthusiasm and relevant application of this theory alongside highly actionable and impactful insight delivery that really engages our stakeholders. Jacinda Norman, Category Insights Manager, Waitrose
The team at The Behavioural Architects Sydney have played an instrumental role in uncovering the key behavioural challenges for the Bundaberg Rum brand. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
By using behavioural principles in analysing research, we’ve been able to go beyond the rational system 2 responses and tap into the deeper, subconscious system 1 responses that are often difficult to articulate. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
For the first time in over a decade, we have clarity on the shift that we need to make to bring our brand back into growth. Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
The TBA team are a friendly, highly organised and intelligent bunch of people to work with. We consider them an extension of our internal Insights team Clara Lee, Senior Insights Manager, Diageo Australia
The behavioural science work conducted by The Behavioural Architects Sydney team has uncovered insights that we would never have uncovered by asking consumers questions directly Alla Nock, Marketing Research, Analytics & Capability Manager, Kimberly-Clark Australia
Observing consumer behaviour through a Behavioural Science lens has uncovered key nuggets that we have now used to influence behaviour. Alla Nock, Marketing Research, Analytics & Capability Manager, Kimberly-Clark Australia
The Behavioural Architects Sydney are a valued  business partner of the Water Corporation (Perth), who’s expertise and insights into behaviour change has been instrumental in helping to shape our communications strategy and to deliver an outcome that produces results.    Paul Tuffin, Customer Insights Manager, Customer Strategy & Engagement Water Corporation (Perth, Australia)