Marketing Fishing or “Hooked. How to Build Habit-Forming Products” by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover

In the modern world, manufacturers constantly produce new products, expand the range of existing goods and try to run more effective marketing campaigns. The consumer faces a choice of what kind of goods to buy from the presented variety. In this situation, the main goal of the seller should be not only the sale or marketing of its products, but also the retention of its consumer. In their book, Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover describe the Hook Model that teaches the basic principles of consumer habits formation in consumers and consists of four stages: trigger, action, reward and investment.

  1. Trigger

Trigger is a kind of stimulus that causes a person to want to do something. Triggers are of two types: external and internal.

External triggers are some information that attracts the user’s attention and pushes him to perform the required action.

Types of external triggers:

  1. Paid triggers (advertisements, contextual advertising, etc.)
  2. Free Triggers (positive responses in the press, popular viral video)
  3. Triggers of the relationship (recommendations of friends or relatives)
  4. Embedded triggers (always come to the user’s eyes, but he decides whether to pay attention to them).

When consumers have a habit, they are controlled by other triggers-internal. The internal trigger is a certain association fixed in the consumer’s brain and prompting him to act.

  1. Action

The second stage of the model is action. After the consumer received the signal, he must perform the action. Here the rule “it is easier to do than to think” is applied. The simpler the action, the more likely it will become a habit.

  1. Reward

At stage 3, you reward the user, solving his problems and reinforcing the motivation to perform the required action again.

Three types of variable compensation

– remuneration of the tribe – social reward;

– compensation of extraction – the need to extract material objects;

– internal reward.

  1. Investments

The more effort we put into something, the more we appreciate it. We tend to do the same as in the past.


Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover in the book also discuss the ethical application of the Hook Model, since it is associated with a change in human consciousness. For this purpose, the authors propose a manipulation matrix. In order to use the matrix, it is necessary to answer 2 questions: “Would I use this product myself?” And “Will the product significantly improve the life of consumers?”. Answering these questions, you can determine to which type of creators you belong: “helpers”, “hawkers”, “showmen”, “drug dealers”.

After the product is created, then by testing habits you can identify its hot fans, find out what features of the product are addictive and why they do it.

Testing a habit consists of the following steps:

Step 1. Determine. Examine the available data to determine how people behave and how to use the product.

Step 2. Encode. Then systematize the results to identify consumers who have already developed a habit of the product.

Step 3. Change. Change the product to influence more users and push them to the same path as people who have already acquired a habit, then evaluate the results and change the product again.

The “hook” model helps not only to form a habit of a new product/service but reveals weaknesses in an already existing product.

Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover discuss in detail each step of the model, give concrete examples and cases from advertising and social networks, and also describe some psychological experiments in the field of marketing. The main task of the book is to teach you how to create a habit of the product/service in order to solve the specific problems of the consumer with the help of habit.

Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketing specialists, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.


If you liked the book, you might be interested in Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy