Client: Cardboard Office/FluteOffice 
Output: Communication trategy 
Research: Oliver Payne, Founder, Colwyn Elder, Strategist 
Creative director: Oliver Payne, Jamie Romain 
Creative team: The Hunting Dynasty


Why – despite overt interest and positive PR – are people not buying our cardboard desk?


After seeing The Hunting Dynasty present at a conference Cardboard Futures Ltd asked us to re-position their flagship product – Paperweight Desk – using our cognitive-behavioural experience.

Everybody loved the concept. Including us; who wouldn’t? 100% cradle-to-cradle recyclable desks at 1/10th of the cost of current desks. But no one was buying – not on the numbers our client wanted – despite almost universally positive comments after understanding the benefits. So why no move to purchase?





It looked like a cognitive dissonance problem – where potential customers’ automatic/reflexive/System 1 and deliberative/reflective/System 2 thinking disagree. automatic/reflexive/System 1 is characterised as being intuitive, rapid, associative. deliberative/reflective/System 2 is rule-governed and calculating. There are broadly 4 ways these two interact: Automatic decisions, Anchored decisions, Rational indecision, and Cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance works like this:
– System 1 decides (intuitive, rapid, associative)
– System 2 overrules input (rule-governed, calculating, reasoning)

As part of the first phase of the project we ran a session with experts in the field to map the barriers to purchase. We then went on to identify further behavioural insights, work out that behaviours by audience, and build a practical model of influences – including a behavioural marketing framework.




How do we use this knowledge? We’ll keep the main conclusion private so our client’s competitors don’t get an edge – but we were able to map:
how to fix the instinctive response
how to reframe the instinctive response
how to agree with the instinctive response

The less attractive small volume markets are in the anchored space, making them relatively easy sell if you push the right buttons (utility, recycle-ability, or fashion) by agreeing with the instinctive response. Our approach is not only communicating with words and pictures (although sometimes it is just that), some solutions involve changing the product – and that product is now part of a new look, feel, and re-design called FluteOffice.

We’re not simply helping to market the product that’s been developed, but helping develop the product to be marketed.


Original Cardboard Futures desk.
New FluteOffice desk.