Internal Trigger: One thing to understand before building any product.

I always think about one question! How entrepreneurs come up with startup ideas?

Even Steve Jobs famously said that “customers don’t know what they want, because they don’t see the future of tech. The entrepreneurs have to show what they can do with tech”.

So, in short, don’t rely heavily on what the customer wants.

But, in reality, things get different routes.

I just completed reading this very famous book

This book talked about a model that successful product or service companies follow.

And the author Nir Eyal proposes th model which he thinks responsible for the success of these companies.

But, today, I am going to talk about two essential factors which i learn while reading this book.

These two factors are the foundation of the whole model, which explains to us why some companies are incredibly successful able to build a habit-forming product.

And these two essential factors are
1- Frequency of possible use of product and service
2- Internal Trigger

Let’s talk about frequency first.

It’s how many times you are going to use the product or service.

For example, how many times you open instagram or Facebook? Daily for most of us. Right?

How many times do you open a ticket booking app? Once in a month or six months? Right?

Do you understand what I am trying to convey here?.

This thing is called frequency, to which you or let’s say customers will interact with the brand.

Simple massage from this is, more the frequency of the user interacting with the product or service is better for the company.

Now let’s check why of it? And that is “Internal Triggers”

Let me start this by asking you a simple question.

Why do you think people use any product or service?

Because you have built a great brand? Or because your company has got excellent infrastructure? Or else, your company is providing better products/services?

No, none of these answers are responsible for people using your product.

People are using your product or service as just a response to their “internal trigger.”

Now internal trigger can be anything, people want to know what their friends are doing, they want to share their current status, where and with whom they are spending their time, etc. and that’s the reason they turned up to social media platforms!

So, here, boredom, sharing one’s status, and curiosity to know about friends is an internal trigger.

Now the question is, how many times they encounter these triggers? Dialy right? and that’s a frequency.

In the same way, everyone travels, but not everyone travels daily.

So, here, someone wants to visit someplace, maybe his family home, or any other place, and this quest to journey is the internal trigger here.

But do you visit your family home daily?

No! Probably once three months ! right?
And that’s the reason you will not open any travel booking app on the daily basis.

So even if there exists a tremendously great app with a great UI.

Still, your internal trigger for this service doesn’t encourage you to use that app daily.

Because it’s straightforward, the internal trigger comes first, then the frequency.

That’s the reason any entrepreneur should focus on the “Internal Trigger” of a prospective customer and estimate “Frequency” to which customers will engage with the product in the future.

Let’s talk about external triggers today. Last time I explained how successful companies leverage the power of internal triggers. 

Once you build your product or service, you want users to try it, right?.

The real difficulty is standing out when the whole market is overcrowded. It is unlikely that you will find the niche without competition. There will always be another company serving your prospective audience. 

Here comes the power of understanding the external triggers!

Now first understand what external triggers are? When users are unaware of your product/service, you use these triggers to move users to complete desired actions. 

The desired action can vary based on your product/service requirements. 

In general, you may want, users to 

  • Visit your website 
  • signup for your service 
  • install app 


Paid Triggers 

Advertising, search engine marketing, and other paid channels are mostly used as paid triggers. 

Using these triggers is a costly way to keep the user coming back to your product. 

These triggers might be right for user acquisition, but it can not be considered as long term strategy for user acquisition.

Just think for the moment, if YouTube, Facebook were to rely on these triggers – these companies would soon go broke. 

In short, these triggers are right for short term goal achievement but not sustainable for the long term. 

Earned Triggers

The upside of relying on these triggers is these triggers don’t require spending a lot of money! But the downside is, you need to spend a hell lot of time on media and public relations. 

Examples are

  • favorable press mentions
  • hot viral videos 
  • featured app store placements

Relationship Triggers

These are the kind of triggers when satisfied user refers the product to their friends/relatives etc. 

Prerequisite for this kind of trigger is a stunning product or service, which makes the user feel that he/she is using the best product/service in the category.

If this is a case, then they can go ahead promote the product/service. 

Catch here is, don’t just expect users to share your product/service, but create any offer which triggers them to share it with thier circle.

Just like many fintech apps giving offers for referrals. This leads to a higher user acquisition rate. 

Owned Triggers

Did you observe many times when you get notification from Facebook, instagram, and then you visit the app and end up spending considerable time there?

Owned triggers consume a piece of real estate in the user’s environment. 

These types of triggers are called owned triggers! 

It’s when companies become successful in earning mobile real estate. 

It’s like when you download the app. Then the app has the leverage to send you a notification, which then prompts your user the product?

So, which triggers are the best fit for your product/service?

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