In an age of ever-increasing distractions, quickly creating customer habits is an important characteristic of successful products, said Nir Eyal, the author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.”
The expert provided insights on the intersection of psychology, technology, and business at the Sales and Marketing Executives’ annual conference, held under the “What’s Next?” theme late last week.
Eyal explained that not all products require user habits; plenty of businesses reach consumers through marketing, advertising, direct mail and other means.
However, if the company’s business model requires users to come back on their own accord, unprompted by calls to action, a habit must be formed.
“It is not necessarily the best product that wins, it’s the product that creates the stickiest habit. Therefore, engagement is not an accident it’s by design and habit-forming products use hooks to keep people coming back,” said Eyal.
The hook is an experience designed to connect the users’ problems to your solutions with enough frequency to form a habit.
The four fundamental steps of the hook model are trigger, action, reward and investment, he said. Triggers are cues to action. The action phase is the simplest behavior done in anticipation of a reward. Next comes the reward — the thing that scratches the user’s itch. And finally, the investment increases the likelihood of the user returning by loading the next trigger and storing value.
“Building habit-forming products is a super power and like every super power it should be used for good and with an ethical approach. When applied correctly habit-forming products can help people live happier, healthier more productive lives,” Eyal said.
The SME Conference, also included presentations by Gerhard Gchwandtner, CEO of Selling Power Inc.; Ryan Holiday, author of “Growth Hacker Marketing;” Marti Barletta, author of “Marketing to Women;” LaVone Koerner, chief revenue officer of Revenue Storm; Kristen Lawrence, vice-president of social strategies and consumer satisfaction of rFactr; Hugh McGilligan, partner at Millward Brown Vermeer; and Jake Katz, vice president of audience and insight strategy at Revolt.tv.