“The Power of Habit” Earns My Pencil Scribbles


My sophomore English teacher encouraged me to always read with a pencil in hand.  I thought reading was the one subject that didn’t require a pencil, but pencils are my bookmarks now.  I judge a book by how many pencil markings are scribbled once I reach the last page.  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is my new #1 pencil-scribbled book.  It is rich with insight for marketers.

"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is rich with consumer behavior insight for marketers.

“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg is rich with consumer behavior insight for marketers.

As marketers it is important to know consumer behavior in your category.  If you’re marketing peanut butter, you have to understand what triggers the craving for a pb&j sandwich or a spoonful of crunchy. If you’re marketing a TV show you have to understand the behavior behind viewing choices.  Is a 30-something year old viewer seeking out a program her high school basketball teammate who she doesn’t actually talk to mentioned on Facebook? Is there a closer circle of influence on her viewing decisions? Is she surfing her favorite networks in a habitual way? What is the cue that triggers the routine of watching a particular network or program?

runner habit loop

The habit loop of a runner is a good illustration of how habits are fueled by cravings.

Runners know this habit loop. The perfectly placed running shoes by the bed or the backdoor are the morning’s cue for a run. The craving for an endorphin rush fuels the routine run. The reward is a sense of accomplishment or the pride and recognition a runner’s selfie, which are increasing in popularity.

The Habit Loop is a framework for creating repeat business.  As we read in marketing text books, it is easier to gain repeat business than acquire a new customer.  Can you define the craving that fuels the habit loop for the product you market?  What’s the cue that prompts the routine? What’s the ultimate reward?

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2 Responses to ““The Power of Habit” Earns My Pencil Scribbles”

  1. tkinwv Says:

    Just listened to the audio recording…for the second time. Love this book. Wish I had read it before Audience Insight!!!

  2. Do you reach for your phone at every free second? – The Obvious Link Says:

    […] I explained why The Power of Habit gets all my pencil-scribbles over on the WVU IMC Student Blog. […]

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