You are hooked

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Nir Eyal’s Hooked is a best-selling book on how successful companies create products that become habitual and sometimes addictive. The book received a lot of positive reviews from critics and readers and became number 1 in the “Product Management” section of Amazon. The book has over 900 positive reviews on Amazon and over 6,700 positive reviews on the GoodReads book portal.

We are all hooked – adults cannot live for an hour without checking email, new messages and social media feed, and the first thing they grab onto in the morning is their phone. But how do companies manage to create products that are addictive? We will tell you more about the ideas of the book in our review.

In her international bestseller, Hooked, entrepreneur and researcher Nir Eyal talks about the “Hook Model,” the concept of creating products that are addictive and sometimes addictive. The book reminds of what many founders of technology startups and innovative businesses forget about – without understanding the psychology and motivations of consumers, creating a successful product will be impossible.

The hook model is a four-step process that manufacturers use to create addictive products. The ultimate goal is to make sure that the user continually returns to the product without aggressive advertising, costly marketing campaigns, reminders, or any other action on the part of the manufacturer.

Habit-inducing foods share characteristics

To get people to change their behavior, you need to understand how to get them to perform the desired action the first time and how to get them to repeat it over a long period or even a lifetime. These questions cannot be answered if you do not know human psychology. Because the success or failure of this or that product is determined by the laws of human behavior.

One such law is that the habits that were acquired last are forgotten first. Therefore, alcoholics return to the bottle, smokers – to the cigarette, and those who were going to run in the morning – to the sofa.

Old habits are very difficult to overcome – they are literally recorded in the neural connections of the brain.

In order to establish new habits, it is necessary to rewrite these neural pathways by repeating the necessary actions many times. Research has shown that frequent repetitions of a particular action, especially over a short period, increase the likelihood of a new habit emerging.

Nir Eyal defines the technologies that induce a habit as a combination of vitamins and pain relievers – they enter our lives as vitamins, and when the activities associated with them become a habit, they soothe pain.

To increase user motivation, you need to give him a variable reward

Of course, it’s important to motivate users, choose the right trigger, and simplify the process of interacting with your product. But if your product doesn’t deliver on what it promised, then all your efforts to get it interested will be wasted. The product should be a reliable solution to the problem and a way to relieve the itch of the consumer.

It’s important to keep in mind our constant pursuit of novelty when creating products – over time, we tend less toward familiar, albeit very enjoyable, experiences. And the best way to keep constant interest is through variable rewards.

Over time, people lose interest in products that have limited variability. But those products that offer constant change, that is, a constant sense of novelty, do not lose their attractiveness in the eyes of users.

The Great Exposure of the Power of Social Media Likes

The power of variable remuneration is well known to modern manufacturers. Thanks to her, we constantly check news sites, emails and messages on social networks.

People strongly resist restricting their freedom of choice. Therefore, it is important for manufacturers to maintain a sense of autonomy in users. For example, research shows that the words “… but you can either agree or refuse” doubles the likelihood of agreeing to a donation.

People will respond to your suggestions better if you confirm their freedom of choice. Otherwise, they will perceive your actions as an encroachment on their independence.

Check the ethics of your goals with the manipulation matrix

Perhaps some will consider the hook model to be a kind of manipulation. It really involves changing human behavior using certain techniques. But like any knowledge, the hook model can be used for both harm and benefit. Yes, you can get the consumer hooked on gambling, but you can also help him switch to a healthy lifestyle.

How can you make sure your product is forming a healthy habit for the user and not addiction?

Manipulation Matrix: Find Yourself

The author recommends using a manipulation matrix for these purposes, with the help of which you will understand your goals.

Ask yourself two questions:

  • Would I use my product myself?
  • Will my product significantly improve the user’s life?

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