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What Is the Hook Model?

The Hook Model

Introduction of the Hook Model

The Hook Model is a strategic framework which connects the user's problem to a company's product or service frequently enough to form a habit. Habits are defined as "behaviours done with little or no conscious thought". The convergence of access, data, and speed is making the world a more habit-forming place. Businesses that create customer habits gain a significant competitive advantage. The Hook Model has four phases: trigger, action, variable, and investment.

1. Trigger

The journey begins with a trigger, which can be either internal or external. External triggers, such as notifications or ads, prompt users to take action. Internal triggers, on the other hand, arise from emotions or needs within the user. By understanding what triggers users' actions, businesses can effectively initiate engagement.

2. Action

Once triggered, users take action by engaging with the product or service. This phase focuses on making the action as simple and effortless as possible, reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of completion. The easier it is for users to perform the desired action, the more likely they are to repeat it.

3. Variable Reward

To sustain engagement over time, the Hook Model introduces variable rewards. Rather than offering a predictable outcome, variable rewards provide users with a sense of anticipation and surprise, making each interaction with the product or service more compelling. This element taps into the psychological principle of behavioural conditioning, where intermittent reinforcement reinforces behaviour more effectively than consistent reinforcement.

4. Investment

The final phase of the Hook Model involves prompting users to invest in the product or service. This investment can take various forms, such as time, effort, data, or social capital. By investing in the product or service, users become more committed to it, increasing the likelihood of future engagement and encouraging a sense of ownership.


By mastering the four phases of the Hook Model, businesses can gain a competitive advantage and establish themselves as necessary parts of their customers' lives. As habits are formed through repeated behaviours done with little or no conscious thought, businesses that successfully implement the Hook Model stand to benefit from long-term customer relationships.

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