Habit Summit instead of Queen’s Day

For years Cnote has celebrated Queen’s Day on April 30th. But this year we decided to “break the habit” and attend the first Habit Summit in Europe in Amsterdam (it also helps that Queen’s Day has been abolished in favor of King’s Day on April 26th…)

The Summit Day, led by Nir Eyal (author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products), was about how companies can use habits to increase brand engagement and influence consumer behavior. For example: why do we buy popcorn when we go to the movies, regardless of the time of day, the weather or our appetites? Ben Gartner, researcher in health psychology at the University College in London explained it is because we react to certain habit-forming cues in the theatre – buying a ticket, that certain movie ‘smell’, the soft, carpetted floor we walk on. These cues over time get linked to buying popcorn, and build the habit.

Besides building habits, the Day also covered breaking habits. Matthias Laschke presented ‘ReMind’, a gadget that helps people stop procrastinating. ReMind is a large wooden wheel that slowly rotates. The user attaches a little magnet with their task written on it. After a set period of time represented in days on the wheel, just when the user gets into the habit of ‘forgetting’ their task, the disk hits the barrier at the top of the wheel, causing it to drop on the floor, with the task right in their face.

The day ended with entrepreneurs explaining how habit formation inspired their business: for example, Alexander Klöpping talked about how his recently launched news site blendle hopes to change long engrained habits by having customers pay per article instead of per paper newspaper.

One thing became clear: we happily broke our April 30th habit, even if tourists in Amsterdam didn’t….

Through the following links, you can check out a selected number of presentations from the Habit Summit: