Most marketing gurus will tell you to get more leads to an increase in sales conversion. While this is true, it can be a very expensive method to maintain all year long. Instead, a more efficient and profitable strategy is to nurture existing customers to become your raving “fan”. The question is, how do you make customers return to your store and buy over and over again? How can you be the preferred brand and win over your competitors selling the same thing?

In the book, The Power of Habit, named “One of the Best Book of The Year” by The Wall Street Journal; Charles Duhigg, award-winning reporter, discuss personal habits and explains why people do what they do and buy what they buy, as well as organizational habits that make businesses and societies thrive. Based on the book, we’re breaking down the formula on how to make customers come running for your product, and always crave to purchase.

#1 – The Cue to Habit

When we wake up, run our tongues across our teeth and feel that thick film, we naturally want to brush our teeth. That’s how toothpaste was marketed successfully during a time when no one wanted to brush their teeth. They made people aware of the cue that leads to the teeth brushing routine that leaves your mouth minty fresh. A simple cue > routine > reward.

So what’s the cue to use your product or services? Finding the cue is the first step to product positioning and will decide the promotional course onwards. Choose the wrong cue, and your product can fail big! Just like the story of Febreze. So how did Febreze fail? It’s a pretty simple and straightforward product, right? 

In The Power of Habit, Duhigg says that the cue has to be significant and a continuous problem. Febreze failed because they chose the wrong cue – bad odour. Everyone can agree that bad odour is a significant problem – it’s not just disturbing, it’s very embarrassing! However, like any other smell, bad odours fade. Not because they’re gone, but because we humans get accustomed to smells after a while. Which is why Febreze failed when they positioned it as a bad odour killer. People didn’t use Febreeze enough because the cue isn’t significant.

#2 – The Addictive Reward

It’s the reward that makes you so addicted to anything! Exercising, smoking, eating and even video games! If all you do is get crushed in a video game, eventually, you’ll give up. Video game producers will always let you win, eventually! There is even an algorithm on how much and how long it takes for one to win to keep playing. Gamers get addicted because they crave to win over and over!

So instead of focusing on the cue, Febreze focused on rewards – fresh smells after cleaning. The cue is cleaning > routine is spray Febreeze > reward is fresh scented home! Everyone cleans daily or at least weekly. And Febreze gives that extra feeling of accomplishment after a cleaning routine.

Did you notice how most self-care products usually include that minty sensation that gives you a fresh, clean feel? That sensation makes us feel so good after a bath and feel that the product is working! So what instant satisfaction can your product give to customers?

#3 – The Data & Life Events

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is not keeping the customer’s data from Day 1. The other big mistake – not utilizing the database and getting customers’ feedback. Big companies use algorithms and AI to further study customer’s life events. They’d find out if this customer is getting married, if they are pregnant, or have a child going to school. 

Think about it, Febreze didn’t just figure it out on their own. When they failed with their first campaign, they had a professional team to survey their customers. They didn’t just take in their feedback, they also got to know them. Which is how they had the second idea.

Customers love being heard and getting their needs met. Be the one who does, and you’d win them over and over.

#4 – The Promotions

Customers indeed like to be special, but no one likes to be stalked. If you send a baby gift card but they didn’t tell you they’re pregnant, it can be alarming. Charles Duhiggs elaborates this through the story of Target. But you’ll have to read that in the book.

In short, even though your promotion is targeted to a specific customer, make it look a bit random. Show that baby section next to the gardening section in the catalogue. Another perk of this is you’d be able to target a few audiences in one catalogue.

#5 – Employee Training

“Happy employees ensure happy customers, and happy customers ensure happy shareholders – in that order,” Simon Sinek.

It is said that employees are a company’s greatest asset. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg discusses how a company can get ahead in the competition by enhancing customer experience through employee training. Without the employees to deliver the customer experience, a company becomes just like any other. 

The truth is, making customers happy is not enough. We, humans, remember either excitement or bad experiences. And these are two things every business should look into. Excitement can be triggered by marketing. However, bad experiences are usually tackled through customer service. Which is why it’s beneficial to equip everyone in your company with great problem handling skills. Company operations will be able to run much more smoothly. 

So give your customers some excitement to seek, and make them remember how you help them after facing some troubles. Customers will indeed trust you and come back for more.

So these are the 5 tips to make customers crave and come running for your product or services based on the book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Which one of these is the most significant to apply to your business?