Some markets have naturally high “switching costs.” Want to switch from an iPhone to an Android? Good luck. You’ll need to replace apps, transfer photos, change backup solutions, etc. But if you want to try a new salad dressing, nothing is stopping you.
There are steps you can take to make switching from your product more challenging. Increasing switching costs doesn’t mean you create artificial barriers. For instance, don’t make it impossible for your customers to export their data to another service, or you’ll earn some negative word of mouth. Instead, make switching harder by adding more value and solving more problems for your customers.
Apple does a great job of increasing switching costs. I’ve never been a huge Apple fan, but here I sit with my iPhone, iPad, and new Macbook Pro. I can’t imagine what Google would need to make or the horrors Apple would have to inflict on me to get me to switch to Android.