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The Key to Building Products People Love: Habit-Forming Products with Author Nir Eyal

3 min read Bufferchat
Nicole Miller
Nicole Miller Director of People @ Buffer
The Key to Building Products People Love: Habit-Forming Products with Author Nir Eyal

Author of Hooked: Building-Habit Forming Products, Nir Eyal, stopped by Bufferchat to discuss how the Hook framework applied to marketing and social media.

For the full Storify summary of the Twitter chat, click here.

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habit-forming products nir eyal

What are the components of the Hook model?

From Nir:

  • “A “hook” has 4 parts: trigger, action, reward and investment”
  • “…through successive cycles through these hooks, users form habits.”

How can being aware of the Hook model serve you as a consumer and creator?

From Nir:

  • “Habits are very good for the bottom line”
  • “Habits supercharge growth, increase defensibility, increase value of the user to the company, greater pricing flexibility”
  • “Customers rebel if they feel locked it, habit-forming products should be “want to” not “have to”.”
  • “Examples of self-triggers … Lonely = use Facebook, uncertain = use Google, bored = Pinterest, YouTube, ESPN”
  • “I hope we all become more aware of the psychology of persuasion so we can become smarter consumers.”
  • “To help people not feel locked in, maintain sense of autonomy. See more in this essay:

Other great insights:

  • “Never forget as a creator what it feels like to be a consumer – interact with that part of you.” @Kymberlaine
  • “Also the hook model helps marketing connect the users’ problem to your solutions.” @maned
  • “Marketing is all about encouraging people to perform behaviors. Once you’ve defined them in context of hook model, push ’em!” @allygreer

What is the biggest hurdle in changing to a product that might be improved, but not engrained in habit?

From Nir:

  • “There are a few ways to “steal” a competitor’s user’s habits, go through Hook 1) faster 2) more frequently 3) make reward better or 4) make it easier to get into the Hook.”
  • “Brief intro video to the Hook Model here:

Other great insights:

  • “A smooth transition. We are creatures of habit and adjusting to something new, even if it’s better, can be challenging.” @jolleygood
  • “Finding activation energy at the right time and place when you should use the new, improved product.” @rsidneysmith
  • “The main question to answer is “why should I switch?”. If your audience can’t see that RIGHT AWAY, you’re missing out.” @outsider_NYC

How can the Hook model shape marketing strategy?

From Nir:

  • “Hooks shape marketing by changing product experience so that users are self-triggered, less need for expensive/annoying ads”

Other great insights:

  • “There is nothing wrong with trying to hook honestly. Just don’t be scummy about it. I hook customers with value, not tricks.” @JayVig
  • “I think marketing will have to focus more on hooking, engagement and loyalty then ever before” @PetrPinkas
  • “Any Strategy must have Structure..the Hook Model is a simple structure upon which you can build.” @d_scott

What are some ways to discover customer pain points?

From Nir:

  • “Best way to discover opportunities is to observe current habits and consider how new interfaces will make for a better hook.”
  • “Consider how new tech will make scratching the users itch easier, faster, or more rewarding”
  • “Better than just asking customers what they want is understanding the psychology driving behavior but that they can’t articulate”

Other great techniques mentioned:

  • Social media
  • Polling
  • Uninstall feedback
  • Question habits
  • Engage/ask your audience
  • Look through user data
  • Watch frequent customer support questions
  • Reviews/testimonials

Huge thank-you to Nir for being here to chat with us! Learn more about habit-forming products at and

Image sources: Death to the Stock Photo, Blurgrounds, Pixel Buddha

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