Hooked: building habit forming products (#ogilvychange host Nir Eyal)
What is a habit? A behaviour done with little or no conscious thinking.
Why does it matter? In an age of ever-increasing distractions, quickly creating customer habits is
an important characteristic of successful products. For many businesses, particularly online, their
success is based on users coming back to it and engaging with it. Studies have shown Google and
Bing deliver equivalent performance, so why does Google maintain a 67% market share? That’s the
power of habits!
The Four Parts of Hook
Trigger, Action, Reward and Investment
Trigger:- A trigger is the event that prompts a person to use the product. This can be external or
internal. External Triggers are something in the environment, like when someone receives a
notification from Whatsapp which triggers them to open the app. Internal triggers are emotions that
prompt you to engage in a behaviour, like when people feel lonely they go on Facebook. It is
important that companies understand the users internal triggers so they can build a product to
meet their needs.
Action:- It is imperative that the action needed is in it’s simplest form. People need both the
ability and the motivation in order engage. Taking Twitter as an example, their log in page is getting
simpler every year for people to sign in by having a simple text free log in page. They have made the
action needed to get onto twitter as simple as possible. Marketing campaigns tend to vastly
overweight the importance of motivation and neglect the value of improving ability.
Reward:- As humans we find the unknown fascinating and therefore variable and unexpected
rewards are extremely effective. Not knowing when we will next receive a reward leads us to
increase the behaviour and focus on engagement. Rewards can be broken into 1) social rewards, e.g.
Facebook likes 2) resources, e.g. gambling and 3) self-achievement, e.g. a level of mastery and
Investment:- When users invest in your product it increases the likelihood that they will be
passed back through to the next stage of HOOK, Trigger. This is because investments load the next
trigger of the hook. For instance, if one posts something on Facebook (investment), someone can
interact with this which leads to the person receiving a notification (trigger). Investments also store
value. The more one invests, the more the product improves – it’s a virtuous cycle.
Habit design is a super power. If used for good, habit design can
enhance people’s lives with entertaining and even healthful routines.
If used for evil, habits can quickly turn into wasteful addictions.
Find out more about this super power
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