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How to Build Habit-Forming Products


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Your habits, good and bad, are money in the bank to the people who make the products you use every day.

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Your alarm wakes you and you stagger to the kitchen to brew a cup of coffee. You reach for your smartphone to map the traffic to work, check the weather and get an update on your friends. You perform these activities automatically, with little thought. Yet, if you find Keurig, or Facebook habit-forming, that’s not an accident. Getting you to incorporate its products and services into your habitual routine is the ultimate goal of every business. Consumer psychology expert Nir Eyal developed the “Hook Model” to put this brass ring closer to product developers’ grasp. He created his four-step model by researching the traits that successful products have in common, drawing insights from behavioral psychology and neuroscience, and extrapolating from his personal experience in gaming and advertising. While his model seems particularly apt for digital products, getAbstract recommends this user-friendly text to marketers, designers and entrepreneurs across product categories.


Habit-Forming Products

You carry out habitual behaviors with “little or no thought,” but when your use of a product or service – like a smartphone or Twitter – becomes a habit, the company behind it scores a meaningful win. Marketers try to engineer the customer experience so that it becomes ingrained because a product’s success requires loyal, habitual users. Smartphones, tablets and game consoles give consumers around-the-clock access and connectivity. Marketers have two tools – that constant entrée and detailed personal information gleaned through data mining – for propelling the buyer behavior that most benefits them: Forming a habit.

The Habit Advantage

Investors calculate a company’s “customer life-time value” (CLTV) to determine its overall value. CLTV is the amount of money a business expects to make from a single customer during his or her lifetime. The more habit-forming a product is, the higher its CLTV. As consumers incorporate a product into their daily lives, they become less resistant to increases in its price. Loyal users tell their friends about products they routinely enjoy and recommend them via social networks. Word-of-mouth advertising ...

About the Author

Nir Eyal is a video-gaming industry and advertising veteran. He writes, speaks and teaches about applied consumer psychology.

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    R. B. 1 month ago
    Looks like GetAbstract don‘t care about their best friends. No changes in rating yet. It‘s even more important to get your customers hooked into your products on a daily basis. How about reading every day an Abstract. Can’t imagine a better hook :)
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    J. M. 1 month ago
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    R. T. 3 years ago
    What a fantastic summary of an important and well-known book. As the reviewer below says, this feels badly underrated (i.e. it could easily be a 10).

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