Please let us know if you have any other questions about behavior change or about Big Yellow Cab. We’d be happy to answer them.


Q. What is a behavior change program?

A. It’s a program designed for a population (and not only those who are ready to change a behavior). The basis of our programs come from peer reviewed research and evidence based behavioral models which have been shown to be effective in predicting behavior and as a guide to change behavior over hundreds of different applications.


Q. Do you measure outcomes? How do you measure the effectiveness of your programs?

A. Yes, we do. We are numbers driven and we measure the effectiveness of our efforts by a number of criteria.

  • The percentage of participants who adopted the desired behavior
  • The strength of the motivation of participants
  • The effectiveness of the deployment channels

We also use a qualitative measure to guide us. Did the program address a behavior that’s important?


Q. Are you different from ad agencies and marketing firms? How so?

A. Marketing is the last in a long sequence of events for an organization and Big Yellow Cab is concerned with what occurs long before that stage: identifying markets, finding opportunities and developing products and services. Furthermore, the nearly exclusive focus of advertising agencies and marketing firms is awareness and not behavior change. But when it comes to eliciting a change in behavior in a population awareness is only the first step in the process. The chart below illustrates the difference between the two.

Category of behavior

Awareness Intention Action

What does it?

Ad agencies & communications firms Behavior change firms Behavior change firms

What happens?

People receive the information People make a decision to act People take the desired action

What results from the effort?

The information usually fails to be translated into a plan of action (unless other mechanisms are in place to pull the person through to intention and action) The behavior is understood in the context of their own lives and the preparation to act begins The barriers (many of them difficult to see) were identified and reduced through the strategy and the behavior change design so that the behavior can occur

These, of course, are not the only differences. Ad agencies usually recommend the same course of action, a campaign, regardless of what the problem is. Campaigns are also very expensive. All our programs and services basically deliver a readiness to adopt the desired behavior—and usually do so for far less money than a typical ad campaign.  


Q. How are you different from other behavior change firms?

A. Most behavior change firms are focused exclusively in the area of health and most do not develop full programs that address multiple dimensions of a behavior. We deliver fully developed programs that address behaviors in a variety of areas. We also do an analysis of the market or of the environment to see what behaviors are important to the initiative and the organization.


Q. What are your products or deliverables?

A. We deliver programs typically comprised of a variety of number of tools designed that, when taken together, influence behavior. For example, a program designed to help gym members stick to their exercise goals might include an assessment with a person at the gym, a number of resources for the member and structured conversations between members also trying to stick to their resolutions.


Q. What can I expect if I hire your service? What’s the process?

A. We length of the engagement varies according to the scope of the project but the process usually follows three steps: Discovery, Analysis and Program Development & Delivery. When we first meet with you we discuss the particulars with you before we begin so that there is an understanding of objectives and costs before you give us the green light.


Q. Can behavior really be changed?

A. There are limitations of course, but yes. See The History Of Behavior Change for a few examples of how behavior change programs impacted behavior.


Q. How do I know if my organization would benefit from a behavior change program?

A. Take a look at our Product & Services page. If any of the items there strike you as being relevant to you or if your organization has any of the experiences below behavior may be the culprit and the organization may benefit from a behavior change program.

A program or initiative fail to make the desired (and expected) impact on its participants.

A donor base fails to grow despite the importance of a cause or issue.

An effort to introduce socially beneficial behaviors (more exercise in a given population, for example) fails to live up to expectations or experiences low levels of interest among the target group.