How to keep your customers hooked

Customers who cannot live without your service or product and who extol its merits may be a dream for many firms, but it is already the reality for Apple, Amazon, Ikea and Facebook. According to Nir Eyal, much of the seductive power of these marketing champions rests in their ability to influence the habits of their customers so as to increase their brand loyalty. Excerpt from the latest issue of Business Digest:

Colorful shopping bags in female hand. Sale retail

1. The customer relationship: a history based on habit
Companies that succeed in introducing their product or service into our packed schedules give themselves a decisive and sustainable advantage. Firstly, anything that becomes a consumption trend has an especially high “customer lifetime value” (the revenue generated per customer between the first contact and the end of the relationship). Secondly, a consumer who is hooked is less sensitive to variations in price.

2. How can you create a buying habit?
To kick-start a habit, Nir Eyal recommends using an emotional trigger (such as a fear of missing out). Next, the ease with which any act can turn into a habit depends on accessibility. The definition of accessibility varies across users. For some, the key factor will be the time needed to complete the activity; for others, it will be the financial cost or the intellectual effort required.

3. How can you keep people hooked?
Rewards spur customers to persevere with their habits, but, to become really hooked, they have to be encouraged to make personal investments. The terms of such investments may vary, but, generally, the more users have a stake in a service, the more hardworking they will be, and the more they will sing its praises…

The Telkomsel example
In less than 20 years, Indonesia’s Telkomsel has become an Asian market leader in cellular telecommunications, now serving over 120 million subscribers. Kuwat Amad, head of operational marketing, explains how the company inspired Indonesians to adopt the cellphone habit.


Based on Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (Portfolio, November 2014), “The Best CMOs Combine 4 Leadership Styles” by Jake Sorofman (Harvard Business Review, May 2015); “The Rebirth of the Chief Marketing Officer” by Martin Roll (Insead Knowledge, January 2015); “What Every CEO Should Expect From Their CMO” (SAP, 2013) and the Interview with Kuwat Amad, head of operational marketing at Telkomsel, Indonesia, May 2015.

Watch, the video :

TNW – Nir Eyal – Building Habit Forming Products

In this conference, « The Next Web, » Nir Eyal, author of Hooked, discusses the tricks that can enable you to shape customer habits.