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Why Habit Formation Research Should Guide Your Brand Strategy

Discover how to use habit formation research to maximize your brand strategy with a framework we call "Habit Illumination."
Date published:
Why Habit Formation Research Should Guide Your Brand Strategy

Habits have always been — and will always be — a central aspect of consumer behavior.

To say we’re living in an age of ongoing disruption is an understatement. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, developments in technology were driving significant behavior change; then the pandemic hit, and the consumer landscape changed in ways we’re still only beginning to grasp.

What’s coming next?

We can’t predict everything, but habit formation research can help us anticipate how consumers will adapt to their new circumstances, adopt new habits and, perhaps, double down on the habits they hold most dear.

What is habit illumination — and why does it matter?

Material’s Habit Illumination™ is a strategic research approach that leverages the science of habit formation to quantify the strength of category habits and guide recommendations to adapt, disrupt, and evolve consumer behavior.

This process brings to light the forces that influence existing or emerging habits in your category to craft a proactive strategy that builds upon (rather than fights against) behavior, providing a framework for delving into consumer habits and uncovering rich insights for brand prosperity.

Do you need habit illumination?

If you are trying to answer one of these questions in your category, you might.

  • What factors influence the habits in my category?
  • How can I make habits around my product stronger?
  • How can I influence habits in my category?
  • Is my product vulnerable to disruption?
  • What habits involve my product or brand?
  • How habitual is the use of my product relative to others in the competitive set?
  • How has the pandemic shifted consumer behavior in my category and what are the long-term implications?

Want to get to know consumers? Get to know their habits.

If you want to understand what your consumers will do tomorrow, you need to understand the habits they are forming today.

Habit illumination can help you embrace rather than endure changes in consumer habit and leverage them into strategic opportunities.

What you’ll learn

  • How and why habits are formed over time,
  • How consumer habits can inform brand and business strategy,
  • How Material’s Habit Illumination™ process works,
  • When you should conduct habit research,
  • How you can focus your research at every step of the process,
  • How understanding your customers’ new habits can help your plan for future success, and more!

About the author

Lauren Murphy
Lauren develops creative approaches to help understand consumer behavior and why people sometimes say one thing but do another. As Research Scientist Director of Material's Pagrmatic Brain Science Insititute, she draws on her expertise in emotion processing, decision making, and behavior to produce meaningful insights and novel research approaches. Lauren joined Material in February 2018 and received a B.S. in Anthropology from Florida State University and a PhD in Psychology from Emory University.

Read more by Lauren Murphy
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