The power of habit forming.
Over the past we have seen how some products or technology change our behaviors. Products like Facebook, Google, tweeter, email, snap chat, instagram and linked in. These products that keep us checking again and again. How do they do it??
About 40% of what we do is daily is purely out of habit. We don’t even think about it. How can you as a manager of a company or entrepreneur, or learner form habit forming products that will be used most often or even bought without someone even thinking whether to buy or not?
The hook model.
Hook has four parts.
A trigger tells us what to do next. Its what we always see in our environment i.e buttons that say click here or you tube link saying play this or amazon button that say buy this. These are the external triggers. They tell us to do this by giving us some bit of information. Moreover, there are internal triggers too that are critical in forming habits. These triggers tell us what to do next not by what we see but by association with what is in the users brain. Could be places, people, routine, situations and most often emotions. Emotions are the most frequent internal triggers. Not just any emotions but the negative emotions. Is this true? What do we do when we are bored, when we are feeling low, when we have failed or just lonesome?
Research shows that people suffering from clinical depression check facebook or mails or tweeter more! Most often we do open facebook when we feel lone. Over Christmas holiday, I realized I had only at most 3 chats but as soon as the year begun and school reopened and people went back to work, i had more than hundreds! What do we do when we are not sure of some answer? We Google it! When we don’t know the place we are in, we visit Google maps! and when we are bored we go to you tube, to check some scores, news or listen to some music. Trigger therefore tells us what to do next.
This is the phase where the habitual behavior occurs. Action could be defined as the simplest behavior in anticipation of a reward. When you hit the search trigger you expect an action, an array of results. For any human behavior, three things are necessary.
Motivation is how much we want to do a particular behavior. Ability is the capacity to do that behavior. How easy or difficult is it to do? We have talked about trigger.
Here is where we offer the service, we give the user what they want, we provide the solution. Our brain is most active in anticipation of a reward. There is a way too to stimulate the craving. Do you wanna know what it is? Are you curious? Do you wanna know how to activate desire? Well its what we are doing now! The unknown is fascinating, beautiful, and we do a lot to know the unknown. BF Skinner calls it the variable ratio of reinforcement. Wait, why is gambling so addictive? Because it has a reward of money. Facebook could be addictive too because when you post a picture you anticipate a reward of likes! or views or comments. When you play a game like candy crash or angry birds or castles, you always wish to go to the nest level. This is called the reward of completion. There are other many rewards.
The purpose of investment is to increase the probability of another pass through the hook. This is done by storing value. Stored value makes things to appreciate instead of depreciating. Apps like facebook or ebay or google drive or tweeter do store value by increasing data, content, followers and reputation stored. The more likes you have or the more data you store, or the more followers and content stored, the more likely you are to visit.
Its not the best company with the best products that wins but its the company with the monopoly of habits forming products that wins.