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Book Insider: Hooked

A peek inside Hooked by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover.

A quick look at Hooked.

Hooked is about how to use modern technology to leverage natural behavioral tendencies for business gain.

Key motivators—pleasure over pain, hope over fear and acceptance over rejection—drive all human behaviors. With strong motivation and frequent repetition, behaviors may become habits. These are actions performed in autopilot mode, without really thinking about them.

Habits are formed through a process that is easy to understand as the Hook Model. The first phase of this model is a trigger, either external or internal. An external trigger is from the environment or surroundings, and an internal trigger is coupled with an emotion, thought or a routine that already exists.

The second phase is the action or actual behavior done with the expectation of a reward, which is the third phase. The fourth and final step in the Hooked Model is an investment. This is the effort, money, time, data or social capital the user puts in the product or service.

The mechanics of habit formation have enormous implications for anyone who wants to persuade users to engage a specific product or service. Today's advanced technology, especially leveraged via mobile devices, makes us more connected than ever before.

Such connectedness, when added to the unprecedented ability to gather, analyze and process data, is a perfect opportunity to intentionally create habit-forming products or services. Clearly, this capacity to influence and shape behavior has important moral implications, waters each user must navigate individually.

Key Take-Aways

We're already hooked! ABC News, in reporting on findings from Kleiner Perkins Caufiled & Byer's annual report on Internet Trends, noted that cell phone users may check their devices up to 150 times per day. They're checking the time, their email and their text messages. They're also using their phone to make voice calls, of course, and to take and send up to 500 million photos per day.

Pleasure, hope and acceptance drive us. The human desire for pleasure over pain, hope over fear and social acceptance over social rejection drives every human behavior.

Habits: The new marketing. Today, companies intentionally build products that are habit forming for their customers. "Instead of relying on expensive marketing, habit-forming companies link their services to the users' daily routines and emotions." (Page 3.)

There's a recipe for habits. Companies produce habit-forming products and services in a systematic manner that can be described as the Hook Model, which has four steps or phases: Trigger (external or external), Action, Variable Reward and Investment.

Habits are good for business. Habits 1) increase customer lifetime value; 2) offer flexibility in pricing; 3) accelerate growth; and 4) sharpen competitive edges

Shareable Quotes

"Companies increasingly find that their economic value is a function of the strength of the habits they create."

"Habit-forming products change user behavior and create unprompted user engagement."

"Internal triggers manifest automatically in your mind. Connecting internal triggers with a product is the brass ring of consumer technology."

"To initiate action, doing must be easier than thinking."

"Our brains are adapted to seek rewards that make us feel accepted, attractive, important, and included."

"Experiences with finite variability become less engaging because they eventually become predictable."

"Once users have invested the effort to acquire a skill, they are less likely to switch to a competing product."

"Creating a product that the designer does not believe improves users' lives and that he himself would not use is called exploitation."

"The most highly regarded entrepreneurs are driven by . . .a vision for greater good. . . ."

Like Hooked? You might also like. . .

Data Driven by Jenny Dearborn

One of the world's leading authorities on the power and use of performance analytics, Jenny Dearborn mounts a convincing explanation of why data analytics can give you an inside track to one of the few competitive advantages still remaining—smarter decision leading to optimum business efficiency and effectiveness. Told against the engaging fictional backdrop of a newly hired Chief Sales Officer who implements the Prescription Action Model, Data Driven is a step-by-step guide to rethinking the sales function from top to bottom. Check out our series on Jenny Dearborn's Data Driven.

We were serious...

If you like Hooked, you might also like Data Driven by Jenny Dearborn

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