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Creating Sticky Products like Evernote
A framework to uncover what goes behind creating a sticky consumer product (3 min read)
Welcome to Product Spotlight 🥇. In this section, we shine the Spotlight on products that are taking things up a notch - be it reducing friction, designing killer onboardings, using novel acquisition methods...the list is endless 😄.
Why are some products like Evernote so hard to leave, while others like Tinder are uninstalled all the time? 🤔
Sarah Tavel’s Hierarchy of Engagement explains the mechanics behind creating sticky consumer products.
You must satisfy two criteria to build a sticky consumer product:
The product experience should get better as the user engages more with it (accruing benefits)
Continuous engagement should also make it harder for the user to leave (mounting losses)
The first condition is quite prevalent now. In a nutshell, it’s about using data to personalise and improve the user’s experience 📲.
Consider LinkedIn. You use it to build a following or connect with relevant people in your network. The more requests you send out, the more personalised content you see, status updates you get, etc. Your experience gets better the more you use it (accruing benefits).
What’s more interesting is the 2nd point, on mounting losses. We can again look at LinkedIn. To move away from LinkedIn would mean losing your network, which, if you’re serious about your professional network, you’ve probably built by investing lots of time and effort.
Many products fail at building mounting losses. For example, food delivery 🍔 apps like DoorDash in the US or Zomato/Swiggy in India have little to no barriers to leaving. With every order you make, the app inherently doesn’t make it harder for you to leave their platform. However, their recent efforts towards building subscription models are a way these apps are looking to lock in users for longer.
Products like Notion and Evernote succeed on both fronts. The more I store in Notion, the more value I am likely to get when I want to reference past material (accruing benefits). On the other hand, Notion now operates as a second brain 🧠 for a number of people, and they can’t imagine life without it. They’d lose all that information if they had to leave (mounting losses).
To build an engaged user base that retains on your product for longer, not only do you need to build accruing benefits, but you also need to create mounting losses. 😄
That’s it for this Spotlight. Thanks for joining us!
And while you’re here, remember, there are only 3 rules to life:
Be kind to everyone you meet
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Drink lots of water
See you next week!