What is the Hook Model?

The Hook Model is a Tool that offers Businesses a way to Develop Engaging Products for their Customers.

  • It was created by Nir Eyal in 2013.


This Framework tries to explain why certain Products get Clients Hooked and why others don’t.


To do so, it defines the Stages that Characterize the Relationship between Customers and Engaging Products.

The Four Stages of the Hook Model


According to the Hook Model an Engaging Product Experience goes through 4 Stages:

  1. Trigger.
  2. Action.
  3. Reward.
  4. Investment


We’ll see them in more detail, analyzing the success of TikTok:

  • As an example.


Let’s begin:

Trigger - Hook Model First Stage


First, a Company has to Discover What Motivates its Customers.

  • What Customers Want more than anything.
  • Their deep Desires.


Trigger Example


Why so many People use TikTok?

  • What do People Desire, that Make TikTok such an attractive App?


Fame; Recognition.

  • People want show their skills and feel recognized for them.


It doesn’t mean that everyone who uses TikTok wants to become Famous.

  • Of course not.


But, People who share Videos with people they don’t know, are looking for Applause.

Action - Hook Model Second Stage


Second, Offer Fun Tasks that Bring Clients closer to their Desires.

  • These Tasks should be Easy and Attractive.
  • Clients must feel that these Actions help them achieve their Wishes.


Action Example


What do TikTok users do to be Recognized?

  • What some of them compulsively do to become Famous?


To create Videos.

  • And engage with other Users through the platform.


There are many Actions that TikTok users can do within their platform.

And you would never get tired of it.

Reward - Hook Model Third Stage


Third, these Actions should allow Clients to get some Rewards.

  • Little Prizes” that keep them Hooked on the Product.
  • These Awards should be the Result of their Actions.


Reward Example


What awards does TikTok give to its users?

  • Likes.
  • Followers.
  • Interactions.
  • Recognition (a combination of these factors).
  • etc.


TikTok users get Hooked when they see their Actions being Rewarded.

Investment - Hook Model Fourth Stage


Fourth, Clients should be able to Improve their Rewards with Effort.

  • By Investing Time to improve their Skills… Or, Sometimes, Money.
  • They’ll get even more Hooked when they see their Rewards Improve.


Investment Example


How do TikTok Users Invest their Time?

  • They become better at editing Videos.
  • They develop New Challenges.
  • They Explore New Trends.
  • Sometimes… They even get Sponsorships from some Brands.


This is why famous TikTokers are extremely good at creating new videos.

  • They have become Professional Content Creators.

Make sure the Cycle Repeats frequently


Finally, this Cycle, should be Repeated frequently:

  • Addressing New Triggers.
  • With New Actions.
  • With New Rewards.
  • With New Ways to Invest and Improve Rewards.


Cycle Repetition Example


TikTok is still a young Social Network.

Then, How do they make their Users Repeat the cycle over and over again?


Their Algorithm learns from the Behavior of its users and:

  • Finds New engaging Trends.
  • Promotes Promising Content Creators.
  • Adds (or Will add) New Functionalities.


Over time, Content, Trends and the Way Users interact, change…

  • And TikTok keeps its Users permanently Hooked.

Before we see more examples, we want to share some Tips on How to Use the Hook Model:

  • Based on our Professional Experience.

How to Use the Hook Model

Take your Time looking for the True Motivation of your Clients.

  • Successful Hook Models are built on True Desires.


The Actions you Define, should be very Easy to Perform.

  • People only get Addicted to things they can do while waiting for the Bus.


The Rewards must satisfy the Desire you are Targeting.

  • Do not look for other Needs or Wishes.


The Investment should have different Levels.

  • Complex Investments are Discouraging and Simple ones end up being Boring.

Now we will give you more Examples so that you understand this Tool much better:

Hook Model examples

We have chosen 4 very Successful Businesses that use the Hook Model.

  • And their Success could not be understood without it.


Let’s see what we can learn from them:

Facebook - Hook Model example


Facebook’s Success can’t be Understood without the Hook Model.


How does Facebook fit into the Hook Model?

Let’s analyze their User experience:



What are Facebook users looking for?

  • Socialize.
  • Get in Touch with their Friends and Family in an Easy Way.



What Actions can Facebook Users take?

  • Like a Page.
  • Follow Pages.
  • Gossip about old Boyfriends or Girlfriends…
  • etc.



What Rewards do Facebook Users get?

  • Likes.
  • Friends.
  • Followers (if they have a Facebook Page).
  • Photo Albums.
  • etc.



How can Facebook Users Improve their Rewards?

  • Writing better Publications that get more Likes.
  • Making better Photos and Publishing them.
  • Updating their Profile Photo.
  • etc.


Cycle Repetition

How Facebook makes sure its Users repeat this Cycle Periodically?

Facebook periodically changes things:

  • It added new Icons: Angry, Love, Laugh, etc.
  • Facebook changes the way they suggest Pages to you.
  • They even offered a new background color (black).

YouTube - Hook Model example


YouTube’s Success can’t be Understood without YouTubers.


They Create Content and attract users to the YouTube platform.

That is why we’ll analyze What YouTube offers YouTubers:



What are YouTubers looking for?

  • Fame and Recognition.
  • Money.
  • A Funny Job.



What Actions can YouTubers do?

  • Film and Publish Videos.
  • Promote their Content.
  • Analyze their Competitors.
  • etc.



What Rewards do YouTubers get?

  • Views.
  • Likes.
  • Money.



How can YouTubers Improve their Rewards?

  • Improving their Videos and Thumbnails.
  • Adding New Content.
  • Collaborating with other YouTube Channels.


Cycle Repetition

How YouTube makes sure YouTubers repeat this Cycle Periodically?

YouTube periodically changes its Algorithm:

  • It modifies How different types of Content are promoted/suggested.
    • For example: In the past, short videos were King but not anymore.


YouTubers have to adapt their Content to the Changing YouTube Algorithm.

  • Also, this Algorithm modification offers opportunities to New YouTubers.

Video Games - Hook Model example


If you think that Social Networks are the only ones that use the Hook Model …

  • You are wrong.


Video Games invented this Concept decades ago.

How? Let’s analyze why people get Hooked on Video Games:



As you can guess, each genre of Video Game addresses different Triggers:

  • Adventure Games.
  • Action Games.
  • Sports Games.
  • etc.

They all offer an experience in which players can fulfill impossible Desires.



What Actions Players can do?

  • Countless Actions.

Video Games offer hundreds of different Fun Tasks to do.



If you’ve ever played a Video Game, you already know this:

  • They offer Rewards as the game progresses.
    • More Health.
    • New Weapons.
    • New Characters.
    • etc.


Zelda Ocarina of Time is a good example.



And How can Players Invest in these Games to improve their Rewards?

  • The more you play, the more Challenges you’ll be able to unlock.
  • The more you play, the Stronger your Character will be.
  • The more you Play, the better you’ll be against other players online.
  • etc.


Cycle Repetition

How do Video Games “force” Players to keep playing even if they have finished the game?

  • Offering an online experience.

An online game experience lasts much more than a regular game.


Also, Video Games can:

  • Offer Open worlds with limitless opportunities, so players can re-play the game.
  • Offer patches with new Scenarios, Tracks, Content, etc.
  • And finally, they can release a New game; the Second Part.

Uber - Hook Model example


This Hook Model has been used in many companies.

And these recent years, Companies have “video-game-ized” their Products.


Think about Uber.

What do Uber offer its Users and Drivers?



What Triggers does Uber address?

  • For Customers: A reliable and predictable (in money) means of transport.
  • For Drivers: An easy Way to earn money.



What Actions does Uber offer?

Uber has created a platform similar to a Video Game.

  • Customers can Rate Drivers.
  • There is a Map with all Drivers near you, you can see.
  • etc.
  • You can entertain yourself simply by exploring the Platform and all that it offers.



Uber offers Drivers a Rewards Program.

  • Drivers can obtain juicy and profitable advantages.

Uber Reward Program for Drivers.


For Users, they can get some discounts in Uber Eats.

  • Since these Rewards change, it is difficult for us to point what they offer their users.
    • It depends on the Country, City, etc.



The more Drivers use Uber, the better Rewards they will earn.

  • Uber encourages Drivers to engage with the platform.


Cycle Repetition

Once Users have signed up for Uber, they will likely repeat.


  • Well, we all need to move around town.


What about Drivers?

  • The more they drive for Uber, the more their income will depend on Uber.


It is the “perfect loop”:

  • To obtain a good Status, you need to Invest Time.
    • To Drive a lot, basically.
  • Once they get a good Status, they will earn a decent amount of money.

And no one renounces this Income.


The Hook Model is a Tool that offers Businesses a way to Develop Engaging Products for their Customers.


According to the Hook Model an Engaging Product Experience goes through 4 Stages:

  1. Trigger.
  2. Action.
  3. Reward.
  4. Investment.


Tips on How to use the Hook Model:

  • Take your Time looking for the True Motivation of your Clients.
  • The Actions you Define, should be very Easy to Perform.
  • The Rewards must satisfy the Desire you are Targeting.
  • The Investment should have different Levels.

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