Case Study: Behavioral Change

Case study: Behavior change


An environmental solutions company wanted to learn about the behaviors and attitudes of local customers toward recycling and composting. Conducting research to uncover the barriers to recycling and composting, as well as developing some strategies to overcome these barriers, was an important part of their Social Marketing approach.


In order to address these needs a hybrid research study was conducted. Specifically, focus groups were conducted with a variety of residents in the greater Seattle area. Before the focus groups, participants were asked to complete a week-long online journal to track their recycling and composting activities and concerns. Incorporating this pre-group journal provided advance insight into customers misconceptions and perceived barriers. This enabled Hardwick Research to ask more meaningful questions during the focus groups to uncover details regarding why customers behaved in certain ways.


The combination of these two research methodologies helped the client understand local residents’ behaviors and attitudes regarding recycling and composting. These findings were incorporated into their social marketing process and used to improve outreach efforts, educational content, and communication with customers.