Neale Martin on Habitual Versus One-Time Decisions

Martin: Yeah. That’s the idea that, you know, how do I know that my customers are habituate which is a word I hate, habituate. It’s not a pleasant word, but how do I know that they’re under this habit forming process? There’s a lot of great research on this and the thing that’s so exciting to me about it is that you can know. You can know by using your own database and you can look at behaviors. And the thing that we see is that it typically takes three or four times before you create something habituates. You know, I’ve got to visit this store three or four times before I’m your customer, before I go from being somebody who is a shopper to a customer, ‘cause I’ve got to learn the lay-out of the store. Similarly, I have to buy your product repeatedly before I’m really a customer. And we see that if you bought a product six times, you’re like 93% likely to buy it the seventh time. If you buy it the seventh time, you’re 94%. And if you bought it the ninth time, then it’s like 98% likely that you’re going to buy it the time after that. And so, this is important to recognize that the behavior becomes a much better predictor than your attitude or your beliefs. And so the database becomes a behavioral database. This shows all of the processes that are going on conscious and unconscious. And so, what I work on with companies is to help them identify what are the key areas to look at, and then this also helps predict what are, you know, habit breaking events. Because habits can be broken by what the company does, you know, when I raise my price, I may change my lay-out, you know, my daughter who’s 20, will be 21 called complaining because Facebook change its lay-out, and was like, oh, I hate it. You know, and it was that immediate thing which is I have formed a habit around this old interface and now here’s a new one that I have to learn all over again, and you can see this with Vista. You know, there’s so much reaction against Vista because Vista broke the habit that Microsoft had formed for million of users over, you know, several years.

Neale Martin invokes Microsoft introducing Vista as one example.

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