Change comes from within, sort of...

Published on September 01, 2020

We are No Big Deal - - a small, innovative company that believes marketing platforms can, and should, create value for businesses while supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of their customers. Our initial vision was born from bringing gamified wellbeing to a lot of people – but we needed an engine to reach them. The private sector has massive potential to reach, well, everyone – but how do you compel businesses to make ethical changes? If they didn’t cost anything, they would already be changed… We needed to create something that brought not only health value to people, but commercial value to businesses.

Among the backdrop of the year 2020, there are some small things that may be heading in the right direction. Take corporate climate initiatives for example: in the past couple years alone, we have seen ambitious climate change targets from companies like Unilever, Microsoft, Vodafone…even BP and Delta Airlines pledged to be carbon neutral. Think about that. While a myriad of factors likely contributed to these decisions (consumer trends, regulation), one big one has certainly been the affordability of renewable energy. Look at solar energy: prices in 2019 were 10% of what they were in 2010! Suddenly being green isn’t only an ethical decision, it is a commercial one. This was the result of many incremental innovations, often from small companies, that made ethical decision-making profitable. That is often what it takes to effect change at scale, especially as a smaller company.

At No Big Deal, we see this as our opportunity to deliver a bit of everyday wellbeing to a lot of people. Our vision is to bring gamified wellbeing to a lot of people – but we cannot make this impact alone. Consumer industries, on the other hand, have the power to affect health at massive scale. The consumer business owners we talk to really do care about the wellbeing of their communities but investing in change needs to be backed up with commercial value in order for the change to be sustainable in competitive markets. Decisions to the contrary are not sustainable for any business, especially not small and medium sized ones. Put bluntly, businesses, by nature and necessity, are sociopathic entities (though not the people in them, usually!).

Taking that assumption, how could No Big Deal create a product that enables businesses to make the ethical choice for commercial reasons? The solution to this conundrum came from our experience in marketing strategy and behavioural economics – modern consumers demand authentic brand experiences, and brands are struggling to find affordable solutions to create them. Creating these engaging customer experiences is one of the biggest factors in a consumer business’ success, and marketing platforms haven’t caught up to consumer trends. So, we packaged wellbeing and customer engagement together. Two birds with one stone!

The No Big Deal platform gives brands a tool to gamify their customer journey through wellbeing challenges – this gives brands the way to support customer health that they want, while generating the customer engagement that they need to survive. Brands offer promotional rewards linked to challenges such as steps and staying off their phone. Gamification, supporting the customer’s wellbeing, and going on a real journey with them – these are all things that build the critical engagement with people that businesses need. Suddenly, supporting wellbeing isn’t just a passion project; it’s the correct business decision. Of course, the users benefit from it too. In addition to sweet rewards and better health, it’s a chance to interact with a brand creating a fun customer journey for you and your health – not just bombarding you with ads. An engaged customer base, a brand that supports wellbeing, this is good for business and everyone else. As a result, we have a product that businesses see the value in, their marketing teams are excited to use it, and the results are something even the most tight-fisted shareholder can support.

Small innovative companies can contribute to massive change by creating the right circumstances. Namely, make positive change affordable and profitable and let the market do the rest. If we can accelerate the private sector’s move to ethical decision making by creating innovation in the right places, maybe we can reverse some of the frightening trends 2020 has brought on us. There are some positive signs already, and at No Big Deal we are working hard to do our part to enable more businesses to support community wellbeing.

Nigel Bergstra

Nigel Bergstra

Nigel holds expertise in strategic marketing and behavioural economics which he has applied to corporate and startup strategy throughout his career.