"Harnessing the Power of Incentives and Delighting Customers: A Recipe for Success"

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Feb 26, 2024

3 min read


"Harnessing the Power of Incentives and Delighting Customers: A Recipe for Success"


In the world of business, there are two powerful forces that can shape the success or failure of a product or company: incentives and customer delight. These seemingly unrelated concepts hold the key to unlocking growth and creating a sustainable advantage in today's competitive landscape. In this article, we will explore the DHM Model of product strategy and the role of incentives in shaping human behavior. By understanding the common points between these two concepts, we can uncover actionable insights that can drive our businesses forward.

#1 The DHM Model:

Product strategy, at its core, aims to answer one fundamental question: how can your product delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways? The DHM Model provides a framework for achieving this goal by identifying key elements that contribute to a product's success. These elements include brand building, network effects, economies of scale, unique technology, counter-positioning, switching costs, and process power. By leveraging these powers, businesses can create a sustainable advantage that is difficult for competitors to replicate.

Connecting Incentives and Delighting Customers:

While the DHM Model focuses on product strategy, incentives play a crucial role in shaping human behavior and driving customer delight. People are not calculators; they are storytellers. The complexity of the world and the abundance of information make it impossible for individuals to calculate every decision accurately. Instead, we rely on stories to simplify complex problems into digestible narratives.

Incentives can take various forms, including financial, cultural, and tribal. Financial incentives, such as discounts or rewards, are often effective motivators. However, cultural and tribal incentives hold a unique power over individuals. People support certain ideas or behaviors not only because of financial gain but also to avoid upsetting their social group or risking banishment. Cultural and tribal incentives can be more seductive and can shape behavior in profound ways.

The Influence of Incentives on Human Behavior:

It is essential to recognize that even good and honest people can be incentivized into irrational or even unethical behavior. When incentives align with personal or group interests, individuals may prioritize short-term gains over long-term consequences. This realization should prompt us to question our own beliefs and biases. Asking ourselves, "Which of my current views would change if my incentives were different?" can help us uncover blind spots and make more informed decisions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize Customer Delight: Take a moment to reflect on how your product currently delights customers. Identify areas for improvement and brainstorm ideas to enhance customer satisfaction in the future. Continuously seek ways to exceed expectations and deliver value that is difficult for competitors to replicate.
  • 2. Leverage the DHM Model: Utilize the DHM Model to analyze your product's strengths and identify areas where you can create hard-to-copy advantages. Consider how you can leverage brand building, network effects, economies of scale, unique technology, counter-positioning, switching costs, and process power to strengthen your position in the market.
  • 3. Experiment with Pricing and Business Models: Recognize that product strategy is an ongoing process. List a few price and business model experiments you can explore over the next 1-3 years. Embrace the notion that you'll never be "done" and be open to adapting your approach based on customer feedback and market dynamics.


Incentives and customer delight may seem like separate concepts, but they are deeply interconnected. Understanding the DHM Model provides a roadmap for creating products that delight customers, while recognizing the power of incentives allows us to shape human behavior in desirable ways. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, leveraging the DHM Model, and experimenting with pricing and business models, businesses can position themselves for long-term success in an ever-evolving marketplace. Remember, the most powerful force in the world is not just incentives or customer delight but the synergy between the two.

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