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Habit-forming products are designed to change user behavior and create unprompted user engagement. The goal is to ==make customers use the product on their own, without relying on ads or promotions==. Once a habit is formed, the user is automatically triggered to use the product during routine events. This makes the user less price-sensitive and more likely to invite their friends, broadcast content, and share through word-of-mouth.
For new behaviors to really take hold, they must occur often. Frequent engagement with a product — especially over a short period of time — increases the likelihood of forming new routines.
For an infrequent action to become a habit, the user must perceive a high degree of utility, either from gaining pleasure or avoiding pain.
A company can begin to determine its product’s habit-forming potential by plotting two factors: frequency(how often the behavior occurs) and perceived utility==(how useful and rewarding the behavior is in the user’s mind over alternative solutions)
A behavior that occurs with enough frequency and perceived utility enters the Habit Zone, helping to make it a default behavior. If either of these factors falls short and the behavior lies below the threshold, it is less likely that the desired behavior will become a habit.
Gatekeepers such as investors and managers want to invest in solving real problems — or, meeting immediate needs — by backing painkillers. Painkillers solve an obvious need, relieving a specific pain and often have quantifiable markets==. In contrast, vitamins do not necessarily solve an obvious pain-point. Instead they appeal to users’ emotional rather than functional needs.
The habit-forming products we use are simply there to provide some sort of relief. Using a technology or product to scratch the itch provides faster satisfaction that ignoring it. Once we come to depend on a tool, nothing else will do.