In this video, Nir digs deeper into the hook concept and explores the manufacturing of desire.
- When I started studying what is it about this new generation of habit-forming technologies and habit-forming products that keeps users coming back, I fundamentally wanted to understand what's the pattern, what is it at the core of these product experiences that makes them so sticky? So, I started with a little bit of history. I wanted to figure out in the past, how did companies change consumer preferences? How did they change consumer habits? And if you think about the days of Mad Men, if you think about how most companies change consumer habits, I think maybe 15, 20 years ago, and of course, for the past century before that, it was really through mass media.
They utilized what psychologists called a mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect says that the more you are exposed to a brand, for example, the greater your affinity for that brand will be. So, what companies did was to show you that brand again and again and again. You would be exposed to Coca Cola and to Geico and to Marlboro Cigarettes ad nauseam until you had a greater affinity for one brand over another. That's how they changed consumer preferences. So, let me ask you, when was the last time you saw a Facebook television commercial or that slack Super Bowl ad? Or that Instagram magazine ad? Never, right, almost never.
And these companies advertise, but compared to the market cap of these companies, it's minuscule. Why, what's so fundamentally different about these companies in the way that they change consumer preferences and habits? What's different is unlike the mega brands of the past, this new crop of companies doesn't use the mere exposure effect, they don't use the expensive advertising of generation's past. Today, what changes your mind, what changes your preferences, what changes your habits is not an ad, it's the experience.
The product itself creates the habit. That's new and so what I fundamentally wanted to do is what is it about this experience? The question I wanted to answer is, how does a company like a Facebook, or Twitter, Slacker, any of these companies that are so good at changing consumer behavior, how do they do it? What is it about the steps in the user experience that forms these consumer habits? And if we can understand that, if we can understand these generalizable lessons, we can incorporate those same steps into our products and services.
Our job as business people, as people who are creating products and services to help people is to build things people want. Great, that's our fundamental mission, we can improve their lives by building things that people want, that improve their lives. But fundamentally, the key to building things people want is giving it to them when they want it. So, fundamentally, the reason that I like focusing on these negative internal triggers, these negative emotions, is because that's where opportunity is to improve people's lives, to make their lives better by figuring out when and where they feel these internal triggers, where do they feel this itch that our product and service can scratch for them?