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Our Methodology

Behaviour change that works

Our programmes are driven by three key components:

Science, Technology, and Communications.

Science

The continuous application of behaviour change science…

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Technology

Our purpose-built platform and apps to facilitate it…

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Communications

Constant communications to recruit and retain participants.

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Anatomy of a BetterPoints programme

1

Set-up

We work closely with clients to design a programme for them, then we set it up ready for launch.

2

Baselining

All participants have their behaviour base-lined when they join a programme, so we can measure subsequent changes.

3

Delivery

Each programme has a dedicated manager, supported by our behaviour change team. Programmes run in ‘Constant Launch Mode‘, with continuous feedback loops to inform delivery.

4

Impact

Each programme has a
client dashboard where anonymised data can be interrogated, visualised and exported. We can also provide detailed reports, which clients find useful for evaluating and reporting programme impact.

Behaviour change science

BetterPoints technology and programmes are led by the latest behaviour change science, and employ more than 40 recognised Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs). 

The BetterPoints system has been coded to the Behaviour Change Techniques Taxonomy (BCTTv.1) and the updated Behaviour Change Techniques Ontology (part of the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology (BCIO), 2023). 

The coding has been mapped through the Theories and Techniques Tool to Mechanisms of Action. This allows the BetterPoints Behaviour Change team to test different approaches to optimising change, all underpinned by established theories.

The BetterPoints model

A BetterPoints programme can be broken down into four concurrent aims: 

• Reach;
• Awareness;
• Engagement;
• Behaviour Change. 

BetterPoints programmes are not just digital interventions, they are complex behaviour change interventions.

This means they are integrated with local events and services and interact with communications and campaigns from different stakeholders in the community.

They are dynamically adapted based on observed behavioural responses and real-time data. Targeted campaigns employ rewards for GPS recorded activities are embedded within gamified programmes.

Intelligent messaging adapts based on demographics, psychological variables, feedback and behaviour. Messages are also coded to the BCTs and A/B tested.

Programme delivery cycles repeatedly through four key elements:

Gamification

Behaviour change is hard – so if you want people to try it, it has to be fun!

Some of the features we offer ⇨

Tracking

Recording activities and achievements boosts engagement and enables impact analysis.

Rewards

Rewards, prize-draws and virtual medals can be powerful incentives.

Messaging

Prompts and reminders boost engagement, while polls and surveys enable consultation and feedback.

Purpose-built technology

The BetterPoints technology is much more than ‘just an app’. It combines a sophisticated server-side administration platform for optimising incentives, rewards and messaging, with a super-lightweight, native app front-end.

Sophisticated tracking tools allow programme participants to record their journeys and receive instant incentives and rewards whilst the database does all the ‘heavy lifting’.

These tools also enable the system to track many different modes of transport, not just walking and cycling.

Programmes can be delivered directly through our BetterPoints app. Filtering mechanisms mean that only eligible particpants can see the programmes they are eligible for.

This allows customised, local challenges to be offered quickly and cost effectively, without the need to build a dedicated app.

Alternatively, we can build dedicated white labelled apps for clients, integrate into their existing apps, or provide full platform installations for them to design, build and scale their own apps and programmes.

More about our technology ⇨

Constant communications

A BetterPoints programme runs in ‘Constant Launch Mode’ to recruit, engage and retain participants, continuously, throughout its lifespan.

We work closely with clients to get the most out of their communications to target audiences, supporting them to reach people in the places they inhabit.

We break these into three realms: Digital, Physical and Emotional.

Digital

90% of the population of England now has a smartphone. Worldwide, this number is more than 6.5 billon. Social media, email, newsletters, messaging apps and notifications are all at their fingertips.

Physical

People use facilities and services, visit venues and attend events. Programmes need to be visible to them wherever they are – from amenities to public spaces, street furniture to transport services.

Emotional

Technology is no silver bullet, it needs people to trust enough to download an app and believe that it is worthwhile. Recommendations from friends and endorsements from community leaders, employers, retailers, charities, religious groups and other local stakeholders are key.

Rich mix of rewards and incentives

Incentives are critical to encouraging behaviour change – people won’t do something new if there isn’t a compelling reason for it – but everyone is motivated differently. 

BetterPoints programmes draw on a range of incentives to appeal to people of differing dispositions.

They fit broadly into four categories:

Rewards

Rewards are a great initial incentive for many. Our rewards currency – BetterPoints – can be accrued and exchanged for vouchers, for both high-street names and local independent traders.

Engagement

Engagement is about more than using the app: feeling involved and knowing you’re listened to can be  compelling motivators. Our messaging and consultation tools facilitate that; meanwhile, devices such as prize draws and leaderboards can help people feel part of something bigger.

Achievement

A sense of achievement and purpose can be a strong driver of engagement. Our apps show people their progress and impact in real time, and can encourage friendly competition. Levelling up or unlocking rewards are gamification techniques that also convey a sense of achievement.

Philanthropy

Giving can be as rewarding as receiving. We give people the opportunity to donate their BetterPoints as cash to hundreds of local and national charities, directly through the app. 

Continuous feedback and consultation

As well as receiving the constant influx of activity data, our platform allows programmes to consult directly with users and reward them for responding, making it a powerful tool for consultation and feedback. 

Our programmes can run small surveys or deliver large consultations, generate EMAs for more granular detail about an activity, and gather rich personal ‘soft’ feedback and testimonies from participants.

Surveys

Incentivised surveys are a great way to understand barriers people face to changing behaviour, and learning how BetterPoints programmes can dynamically adapt to support them in personalised ways.

EMAs

EMAs (ecological momentary assessments) are timely feedback prompts sent straight after an activity. 

For example: if the app records a user taking the train, an EMA might ask if they would ordinarily have used a car for that journey.

Personal testimonies

BetterPoints programmes can gather open-ended ‘soft’ feedback and testimonies.

This adds an incredibly rich layer of qualitative information over the quantitative data generated by user activity.

Read some of the testimonies ⇨

How BetterPoints supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Many people were sceptical when the UN announced its sustainability goals in 2015. How could the world achieve such ambitious targets by 2030, especially when some countries seemed more interested[…]

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‘I never used to walk … I’ve lost 4kg with my new active lifestyle’

‘I never used to walk before I joined the BetterPoints Hounslow challenge’, says Ishrat. ‘It’s such a helpful app, it has encouraged me in all aspects, walking, running, and cycling too. ‘Each day[…]

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Walking is the low-hanging fruit for active travel, so why the obsession with cycling?

Cycling is a great way to get around actively and a great way to exercise, but it’s not what most people choose when they take up the challenge to travel[…]

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