How These Companies Leverage Your Habits for Profits

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Exclusive Interview" series.

In today's edition, Fool.com analyst Austin Smith interviews acclaimed author and New York Times columnist Charles Duhigg about his recent book The Power of Habit and the iEconomy series he's written for the Times.

Some of the most successful companies out there have found ways to successfully tap into our habit patterns and influence our spending. Two of the industries that do this best are tobacco companies and video game manufacturers.

Though starkly different industries, both have found that intermittent rewards can turn one-off behaviors into habits. For example, a company like Philip Morris International can alter the level of nicotine in cigarettes to result in a combination of expected and intermittent rewards. The recurring purchases that follow are a goldmine for investors.

Learn more in the following interview video.

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Austin Smith owns shares of Philip Morris International. The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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