For 2020, we all predicted a year of “20 plenty”. But while we craved abundance and luxury, the year was instead one filled with tumultuous learnings and ongoing change. When it came to brands, 2020 was a year of pirouettes and pivots as companies adjusted to work-from-home routines, moved their services online and tried to engage consumers in the most saturated digital environment we’ve encountered.

Analysing the year through a behavioural science lens shows that 2020 was a year of cognitive overload. We were presented with too much information and too many new tasks simultaneously, often resulting in our inability…


As we all try to make sense of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of fake news has come under the spotlight more than ever before. You may have seen the now de-bunked stories of dolphins and swans returning to Venice’s canals or elephants lounging in rice paddies in Yunnan, China where they hadn’t been seen for years. More ominously, you’ve likely been sent one of the many COVID conspiracy theories that have spread globally — as quickly as the infection pandemic itself.

Welcome to the post-truth era

We are living in a time where anyone and everyone with a…


Spoiler: We all need to wash our hands more.

As new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are reported around the world and in South Africa, we need to know how to protect ourselves, and others, by preventing the spread of the virus.

The most important advice from the World Health Organisation is to wash our hands, often, and properly. What this means is washing our hands when we arrive at work and when we get home, whenever we cough or sneeze, and especially when using the restroom and before handling food or eating.

When washing our hands, it’s critical to…


Find yourself a nudge who can do it all …

Dolly Parton Challenge


{Originally published by Tegan Crymble for BreadCrumbs}

Eighty percent. That’s roughly the number of New Year’s resolutions that fail. But why is it that the majority of us are failing to follow through with our well-intentioned resolutions, most of which will make us happier, healthier humans?

Well the simple truth is that we don’t like things to change, especially if that change is hard. We intrinsically have a status quo bias which makes us want things to stay relatively the same (think creatures of habit) and overcoming the inertia to change is difficult. …


Think about the last time you needed to persuade.

Was it a sales pitch?

A leads-generation activation?

Driving uptake of a new product?

As marketers, our main aim is to persuade someone to do something: buy into our brand story, support our products and/or services, and ultimately become loyal ambassadors. And the more authentically we can do this; the better. Being able to compel someone to act in a certain way is an invaluable skillset and having the framework to guide this can be the difference between brand success and brand failure.

Enter Behavioural Linguistics.

New to the world of…


There’s a euphoric air around and most of us have already set that out-of-office email message and traded traffic for chill. The annual festive shutdown is here, bringing with it last-minute gift shopping, meal prepping, and social planning: the trifecta of holiday decision-making.

And with that of course, comes the Nudge Family — ready to help guide and steer you to various courses of action over the holidays. Some helpful and in your best interests. Others, less so.

Remember meeting our Nudge Family? They’re four key personalities with different intentions when it comes to how they want you to live…


Want that promotion? Deepen your voice.

By Leigh Crymble, Founder, BreadCrumbs

When we communicate, we use an arsenal of linguistic and para-linguistic tools that shape how we are perceived — not just through our language abilities, but with our body posture, facial expressions, accent and even the pitch of our voice. And even though these signals are very persuasive elements that influence how the world sees us, we are often not aware of these cues because they have become so second nature.

But, what if we did focus on them? What persuasive power could we harness?

In the HBO documentary…


Leigh Crymble, Founder | BreadCrumbs

After spending just over a decade working in the academic and corporate space with a focus on communication and marketing strategy, I started to develop a real passion for behavioural change. This was heightened during my time at Discovery Vitality, a world leader in the application of behavioural economics in financial services and health.

I realised that as important concepts like product design and UX journeys are when it comes to business, a big part of ‘selling’ your concept is through the messaging — how it’s framed, what wording is used — so a combination of semantic, syntactic and phonetic…


5 words (maybe 6). 20 characters (maximum 30).

And a few seconds before your reader’s thumb swipes past the email that likely took you hours to craft.

Being able to catch someone’s attention in one of the most cluttered, noisy communication spaces in our modern lives — The Inbox — is not just based on luck, but rather the interplay of timing, creative art and behavioural science. After all, over 100 billion emails are sent every day. And sometimes it’ll feel like they all come to you.

Over the past decade, I’ve helped marketing teams send emails to databases with…

Leigh Crymble

Leigh is a doctoral student at Wits Business School and the founder of BreadCrumbs.

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