Discover the Fundamentals of Habit Marketing
"95% of today's marketing efforts are fundamentally flawed."
"Habit is not the answer to every solution, but it is part of every solution."
"Become your customers habit... not their choice."
"Habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of."
"Quality is not an act; it is a habit."
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
"Habits begin as cobwebs and end up as chains."
"A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit."
"Habit is stronger than reason."
We Understand Behavior
Since its beginnings, marketing has operated under the assumption that consumers are rational, logical, and conscious decision-makers. We now know this is incorrect. Over the past 20 years, research from neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, and other brain sciences has come together to unveil a counterintuitive reality: up to 95% of human behavior is habitual—unconscious and inaccessible to the Executive mind. This habitual behavior is responsible for many of marketing's most disappointing results, such as new product failure, the inability of market research to predict outcomes, and a lack of correlation between satisfaction and repurchase.
This new understanding of the mind forces us to redirect marketing toward efforts that work with both the Emotional and Executive minds of the consumer. Marketing's primary goal must be to become a customer's habit, not their choice. It goes against our instincts as marketers, but the best and most loyal customer is the one that doesn't think about you at all. At Sublime, we unify these powerful brain insights with the traditional tenets of marketing to create a habit-based approach to consumer behavior.
What is Strategic Habit Management?
A habitual customer is a profitable customer. Habitual customers repeatedly purchase products and services with little need for conscious involvement or intention. These habits deliver consistent and reliable revenue while reducing the cost of sale. Unconsciously triggered behaviors no longer require costly marketing investment as purchase simply happens automatically. And because these habitual customers are not consciously attending to messages in the performance context, they are far more resistant to pricing fluctuations and competitive incursions.
Sublime’s primary focus is maximizing the percentage of customers in "autopilot" and pursues that goal by aligning marketing, finance, and operations toward creating products and services that are habit-forming. Strategic Habit Management guides an organization's consumer-facing efforts toward three behavioral goals:
Disrupt Competing Habits
Customers with habits for competing behaviors must be disrupted before new behaviors can take hold.
Create New Habits
Customers can be trained to create new habits through repetition and reinforcement inside of a Contect until their Emotional minds learn the behavior.
Maintain Existing Habits
Habitual customers can be kept in autopilot through intermittent reinforcement and avoiding disruptions that activate Executive awareness.
The Path to Habit Formation
The Path to Habit Formation framework breaks habit formation into a five-stage process. These stages reflect the natural process by which the Emotional mind converts behaviors into habits.
DISRUPT the Old Behavior.
Disruption makes consumers aware of their unconscious actions and diverts them to alternatives. The Disrupt stage weakens the strength of the existing habit through targeted interventions and draws consumers to a new behavioral "path."
ACTIVATE the New Behavior.
Activation leverages established contexts and strong cues to trigger the desired behavior. The Activate stage communicates the ideal contexts for purchase and use and creates explicit cues to trigger a new behavior during disruption.
REINFORCE the New Behavior.
Reinforcement informs the brain that the outcome of a particular behavior is desirable. The Reinforce stage ensures intense reinforcing feedback of the initial behavior via tangible benefits, emotional connections, and post hoc rationalization.
TRAIN Through Repetition.
Training induces the customer to repeat the behavior at least three to five times to begin habit formation. The Train stage creates a sustainable “activate-reinforce-repeat” cycle to ensure the necessary repetitions and prevent a return to old habits.
MAINTAIN to Retain.
Maintenance ensures habitual customers remain unconscious in their decision-making. The Maintain stage uses intermittent reinforcement to sustain habit strength, works to diminish competitive incursions, and avoids any activities that raise the conscious awareness of current customers.
Sublime Behavior Marketing
is at the forefront of adapting marketing practices to how customers actually make decisions in the real world. Our work fuses cutting-edge research from top neuroscientists, psychologists, and behavioral economists to an easy-to-understand model of behavior.
Are You Habit-Forming?
Becoming a consumer's habit—not her choice—is critical to long-term success. Behind every must-have product, superior service, billion-dollar brand, and market-leading organization is an inherent alignment with the neural structures and pathways of the unconscious mind.
Designing a habit marketing strategy begins with this question: how habit-forming are you? Creating, maintaining, and disrupting habits depends on a clear understanding of how automatically consumers are interacting with you (and how you may be impeding them from doing so).
Sublime Behavior Marketing's Habit-Score™ Assessment analyzes your product, service, brand, or organization and delivers an Automaticity Rating: objective feedback on which areas of your marketing, positioning, and design are promoting or impeding habit formation in your customers.
The Habit-Score™ Assessment is an efficient and affordable methodology for introducing your organization to the concepts of habit-based marketing. It is also a way to identify strategic opportunities to improve the way you interact with your customer's unconscious mind.