Checking your twitter or instagram feeds, the food you eat for breakfast, buying your coffee at that corner shop on the way to work, tuning into the radio, streaming your music, ordering your weekly food shop, checking the weather... 

How often do you stop to think about it? 

How much of what you do is simply a reflex - that's just what you do? While in the meantime, your mind is on the things that still do require you to consider, choose, organise, manage, etc... 

There are so many of our daily activities that we no longer stop to think about it. We've been convinced long ago that this is what suits us - and that includes from whom we source what we need. 

Many of the world's most successful companies are names that we associate with consumer behaviour that has become exactly this: an instinctive reflex, or habit. 

This is why they are successful

Product or service, make what you offer a reflex or habit that your customers adopt, and you've got repeat business and a likely happy route to profitability and success.

Your customers have stopped thinking about why it should be you, or even, in many cases, that it is you who provides what they require. The simple truth for those customers is that this is how and from where they get what is part of their daily, weekly, or regular ritual. You've become embedded in their normality.

And unless/until you stop keeping them happy, the likelihood is that things should remain that way. 

Nirvana? A place reserved only for the rare elite? 

No. Far from it actually. 

Here's how to get started. 

It's all about looking at the way your customers behave and working out how you can harness those patterns of behaviour in the same way. 

It's about making sure that your customers' journey, from becoming aware of you, all the way through to buying from you, takes account of the 4 elements illustrated and explained here. Get that right, and they could be repeating those purchases until it becomes a habit. 

As the linked article by Nir Eyal very concisely illustrates: to make what you're selling a consumer habit, you'll need to understand and identify: 

1) your customer's trigger event

2) the action to be provoked - what do you want your customer(s) to do once they encounter the trigger?

3) how you'll achieve variable reward for your customer(s): ones that satisfy their needs, yet whet their appetite and leave them wanting more, so that they come back to you, and finally

4) how your customer(s) can become invested in what you offer: what gets them hooked and may even have converted them to brand advocates on your behalf?

The article mentions some simple but hugely successful examples of how these elements have worked for others. 

Intrigued? I was. And it made me stop and consider whether right now, I can answer how the essential steps of my customers' journey touch on those 4 elements. And even where I can, am I missing any opportunities to make my proposition even more habit-forming?

If like, me, this is something that really interests you, Nir's written a very well-received book on how to build habit-forming products. Rather aptly, it's called Hooked! 

See what you think. It would be great to hear your thoughts.