HOOKED! – The Path Breaking Technology
Reading Time: 5 Mins
What has kept Facebook and Instagram in business? The answer is simple – It’s the users’ compulsive behavior.
Companies have amassed a fortune by exploiting the compulsive behavior of its customers. Marketers have cleverly positioned their products with an addictive undertone, be it marketing the slogans like – “no one can eat just one” or “the king of good times.” Marketers want you to be HOOKED to their products.
Like nail biting, many of our daily decisions are made simply because that was the way we have found resolution in the past. The brain automatically deduces that if the decision was a good one yesterday, then it is a safe bet again today and the action becomes a routine.
Let’s answer the easy question first – Why do the customers get hooked to a product?
According to a world class book called – Hooked, Habit-forming products change user behavior and create unprompted user engagement. The aim is to influence customers to use your product on their own, again and again, without relying on overt calls-to-action such as ads or promotions. Once a habit is formed, the user is automatically triggered to use the product during routine events such as wanting to kill time while waiting in line.
Have you noticed the sports celebs endorsing brands like the Nike or the Adidas not just in a commercial but also when they are out there playing their respective sport? Here’s a thing; The subtle branding is done in-order to influence the consumers into thinking that maybe the given celebrity is hooked to to a particular brand. The customers then tend to imbibe the same in their lifestyles, and ultimately they’re hooked to the brand.
Addiction is more to do with the cognitive ability of the customer. “Seeth is believeth,”works extremely well with the audiences. Brands tend to spend millions of dollars in order to create products which suit the pleasure seeking psyche of the customers. The product can only be a hit if it aims to please the customers’ pleasure seeking senses.
Let’s see how Facebook achieved this.
In just three points you shall know why is Facebook so successful today.
1) Facebook has the “Like/Comment” feature
2) Facebook has lots of “Video Content”
3) Facebook has the “Chat” feature
Seems obvious? Well maybe, but there is a deep rooted meaning attached to all of these features.
Let me unravel it.
How do you feel when someone likes your picture? Good? Well, it’s the ploy of your mind, because these happy micro moments on Facebook release Dopamine and Serotonin, the happy enzymes in your body which makes you feel good, and who doesn’t want to feel good? The same is with the chats with your long lost friend or watching a hilarious or an emotionally appealing video on Facebook.
Well, before you know it, you’re hooked.
How can the marketers leverage the science of addiction?
Customers are brand loyalists and they do not change their loyalties for decades. Every company wants loyal customers, who come back to them again and again and again. However, loyalty comes with a cost that every company must bear.
If the product satisfies the need of the customer and is of superior quality, customers get hooked to it.
In today’s world, it’s important to have a great product which gets the customers hooked to it. If using your product becomes a habit of your audiences, there is simply nothing that can stop your product from being the most popular.
The next important question is – How do we make our products addictive?
There is no rocket science behind it, tobacco makers, soda makers, and burger makers have been doing this for ages.
Here’s a step by step guide.
Step 1) Market Popularity – If everyone is using it, it must be good. Companies spend millions of dollar in order to make their brand familiar with the people. Companies want their brands to be used by everyone in the family, as a marketer here’s your opportunity – leverage popularity. People want to use the products which are popular and are usually skeptical in adopting products which aren’t.
The simplest way to popularize your product is to find a niche problem and solve it in a way which no one else can. Here are a few examples – there was a problem with Blockbuster and Netflix solved it, there was a problem with Orkut and Facebook solved it. People love to do what others are doing and especially use the products which others are using.
Step 2) Market Happiness – Coca-cola ads are happy ads, so are the ads of McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. People will be hooked to your product if it makes them happy. Again, how do you do this?
Ask yourself, why does having a burger make you feel happy? The reason is that, having a tasty burger invigorates your senses. I’m talking about the feeling that you get when you use a Mac, or drive a BMW. It’s the feeling perceived by the senses that makes your customer happy and ultimately they get hooked to your brand. Brands are often seen shouting this message aloud – “Use my product and be happy.” Simple.
In-fact, the punch line of Coke is – Open happiness!
Step 3) Market Surprise – Give them more than they can ask for. Don’t you feel good, if there is a small surprise in your chips packet? Or a toy with your meal? Surprises usually cause a release of a Dopamine shot in your blood stream. The excitement that is propagated through surprises, makes the customers hooked to a product.
Surprise them with the “extra,” extra miles, extra rewards, extra quantity, extra cheese. This strategy works for the biggest FMCG companies.
Remember this when you tear open the extra 10% chips packet the next time!
Step 4) Market Relief – Pharmaceutical companies have won big in here. They proactively market instant relief medicines. Be it acidity relief in 6 seconds or a headache relief in 3 mins. People usually get hooked to those products which are usually quick fixes. Ah, that reminds me of the Fevikwik, the super glue by Fevicol, that became an instant hit shortly after its launch. People get habituated to products that can address their paint points instantaneously.
There are even quick fixes to dating, where you can find a date by swiping right!
To ensure your brand is out there, and it survives the fierce competition, it’s important that you get people hooked to your brand or your product. You need to apply the basic marketing principles in order to do this.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog as much I enjoyed drafting it.
Written with Love,
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