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HOOKED by Nir Eyal


(Nir is a advertising professional from digital times in gaming industry)

If something becomes an ongoing part of your habit, you will be terribly discomforted with its discontinuance for any reasons...be it due to price increase, short supply, new substitutes or even availability of better alternatives at cheaper prices. Habits are behaviours that you unconsciously indulge in, without much of a thought or evaluation. Once ingrained as a part of your habit, you just need it...you gotta have it !! 

Cognitive logic does not appeal here. It's like an option between consuming Vitamin tablets or Painkillers. Habits are like Painkillers.... when you don't take it or you have to do without it, it gives you pain. If you do not occasionally take a Vitamin, you may feel guilty but it does not give you pain!! I remember personally checking out of a room in a hotel as their TV package did not subscribe to a favourite 'News Channel' and I could not imagine spending time away from home, for the next 3 days without my favourite anchor at dinner time !!!

Consumer Psychologists have captured this 'Habit Advantage' to recommend how you could engineer and incorporate the customer experiences of your products & service offerings to induce your clients, consumers and customers into their habitual routines.

Nir Eyal' s book, aptly titled - 'Hooked' is a never to miss book for any consultant,  marketeer, product designer, or market researcher. Message is very simple: Companies that have succeeded in designing habit-inducing products or services reap a series of advantages that induce and sustain it's growth even in volatile markets. Furthermore, it insulates growth in light of new competition, reduced pricing, scarcity in demand situations, which are normal market vulnerabilities most products face in volatile markets.

The 'HOOKED' model enhances 'Customer Life Time Value' or the 'Average Earning Per User'. It is that value which is determined.

Eyal prescribes a 4 phase -  'HOOK' model for you to be able to do that. 

1. Identify the  'Triggers' to desirable actions. Oriflammes, Symbols and Icons are effectively used for that....when you see, smell, taste, or touch some external triggers, they have the capacity to prompt a reaction towards the desirable action. Pass by a shop that sells coffee powder (smell) or a colourful ice-slurp (sight) or aromas from a restaurant making hot South- Indian snacks at Dadar Station during lunch hours. Like Pied-Piper and the rats..you will move to respond the way it was expected to by the designer... Heuristics (mental short-cuts), Icons and symbols are effectively used to trigger desired Actions

2. The  'Desired Action' is induced by anticipation of a reward. Action is how you behave when in expectation of the desired reward. Human behaviour is generally driven by 

☝️desire to pursue pleasure and avoid pain

✌️....   run after hope but avoid fear

✌️👆 .. pursue social esteem and acceptance and recognition 

✌️✌️ ...connive rather than confront As Fogg says the desired action in the HOOK model is an outcome of :  Ability, Motivation and Inducing Triggers.

3. Build 'variability' (rather than predictability) of these rewards so that it is perceived as fulfilling the cravings, relieving the pain seen as a oases of relief) for solving a problem. 

PREDICTABILITY of an award takes away the motivating thrill. Either in terms of surety, or timings or quantity, once this becomes predictable or standardised, the ability of the Reward to induce the desired Action reduces significantly.

4. Engage the user, consumer or your client in using your products/services...chances are that stronger bonds and commitment is built and habits get formed  when the users invest their discretionary time or effort to use it. IKEA furniture has captured it. Hobby Centre induces children to make their mugs and sign it too...Toys-R-Us had an induction process where the new operating team of the new Store that gets opened, hands-on is responsible for building the racks, merchandising the 'SKUs' and storing the back-end. That way they get hooked for a much longer period of time by their own employment & engagement.

The products and services we use habitually alters our everyday behaviours just as their designers had originally intended. To ensure sustainability of your products and service offerings, assess if it has that habit forming potential. By now you must be convinced that if it has that habit forming potential, then you need to follow the 4 Step 'Hooked' model and reap the benefits out of it.


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