On a recent weekend trip to the grocery, to pick up some Cinco De Mayo celebratory goodies, I stumbled upon this interesting contraption. It's a plastic fork taped to an ink pen. (This is just my re-creation of the actual Safeway Store specimen; I didn't have my camera at the time.) Well, you might be wondering, as I was, what kind of nimnuts tapes a plastic fork to an ink pen? But as I finished signing my name to the store receipt, and set the Forken back down, I realized it was a very smart nimnuts that taped a plastic fork to an ink pen.
We humans have a habit of pocketing ink pens. Practically every day of our lives we get out a pen to write or sign something then put that pen back in our pocket or purse and go on about our day. So, in banks, stores, doctor offices and places where we sign stuff we tend to pocket pens that don't belong to us. It's not that we have a klepto problem when it comes to ball points, it's just habit.
But by simply taping a plastic fork to a pen it breaks that ingrained habit. We aren't used to putting forks into our pockets; they don't belong there. So we set the Forken back down and walk away. (Maybe smokers should tape a fork to their cigarette lighters at parties too.)
Changing habits and human behavior is what we do in this business. How do we get someone to walk to the other side of the aisle, visit a different URL, or drive to the other side of town, when it is their habit to do the opposite? Yes, I was inspired that day standing in line a the 15-item-or-less lane. Because I realized, sometimes all it takes to completely change a person's ingrained habitual nature and natural tendencies is a taped on plastic fork.