We've been hearing the admonitions for the past decade: "Beware of getting addicted to your cell phone," "Unplug every once in a while, or you'll lose the present moment," and other similar warnings. People now have to obligate themselves to deactivate social media accounts and turn off notifications to reprogram when they feel they're becoming too addicted.
These people are hooked.
When we look at fundamental psychology, forming a habit requires three things: 1) motivation 2) ability and 3) a trigger.
The three basic rewards that trigger people to perform a certain way are:
- Rewards of the tribe. Things that involve positive peer interaction. Cooperation, competition, empathetic connection. Likes, comments, and other kinds of social variability.
- Rewards of the hunt. Think gambling and slot machines. Online, this translates as feeds; no matter how much you keep scroll, there's always more.
- Rewards of the self. Those things that feel good intrinsically--control, mastery, gaining new skills. This could be something as simple as games or even email--conquering all your new messages.
The idea behind getting people hooked to your product is to give your customers enough so it scratches an itch--but then leave enough mystery to leave them wanting more. Repeating this process enough eventually builds enough of a habit for your product, that customers move into the investment phase.
If you want to learn more of Nir Eyal's research, check out his full On-Demand Seminar on the Growth Institute platform here!