Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A lot better than expected
on 23 December 2014
So you want to or need to develop a product people just can’t put down.
Short of developing a fiendish contraption that squirts sticky glue in their hands, you will need a good product idea, great implementation and maybe a book like this to dispense a bit of guidance.
Here the author sets out to show you how to develop and create habit forming, sticky, engaging products through the so-called “Hook Model” - a four-step process that subtly encourages and shapes customer behaviour. This is a short book that cuts to the chase. Eight chapters which define the “Habit Zone”, the trigger, action, reward and investment phases along with a look at how you may implement things and a case study and watching brief. Clearly this reviewer cannot test and implement the strategies (there are reviews to write) but the author certainly appears to have hit the nail on its head. In many things we are hooked or, as psychologists call it “automatic behaviours triggered by situational cues” (stuff we do without realising it).
The author notes that customers can be hooked without expensive marketing or advertising. You just need to engage, get traction and get people talking, sharing and using the product. It need not be viewed as unethical or somehow bad (after all, it is not selling heroin). Your world won’t end in a mass of pain and struggle if you really do put down your smartphone, stop taking a certain brand of coffee or change your habits or allegiances from product X to Y. Not all habits are intrinsically bad. It is a case of perspective. This is not a shortcut, instant just-add-water tool that will give you success and allow you to take over your market. You still have a lot of work to do but you will be better informed and able to take more conscious, focussed decisions. The book is written in an open, clear, humble style that does get you, err, hooked in reading it. In many ways it could still be great reading for the generalist who just loves to know stuff: allowing them to possible fight back against the corporate machine that is trying to get them to buy the latest shiny-shiny. A real clash of titans?
Looking at the psychology behind the Hook Model was also interesting even though it feels, once explained, to be fairly common sense. Once you start looking at other products and services with the Hook Model in mind you can see what they are doing. Yes, I’ve been hooked by some of the services named within the book. I started with the free version of Evernote and found its use compelling and valuable and paid for an extended service. Was I hooked by a free service? Yes, of course? It was not the only draw but a combination of a good product, a useful service and an extended period of use that underlined its essentialness and bang, handing over some money was natural. Does that make me a customer for life? Absolutely not, although as a happy customer I am less likely to be looking for alternative solutions and even if I stumble across one/am shown something that could be better, it might be harder to change.
The book features figures concerning Evernote and its customers who switched from a free to a paid service. In the first month only 0.5% had signed up. It might have felt a slow burn yet it acted like a rolling stone gathering moss. Within 33 months 11% of users had started paying, nine months further on this was at 26% and the figures continue to grow.