Archive for August, 2010


August 3, 2010 1 comment

I have been reading quite a bit lately and always seem to be on the prowl for a new title, generally in the business category. Knowing this, my wife forwarded me a link to “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation”. We have an inside joke at our house involving my youngest son and the word “fascinating”, but that’s a whole other story. Suffice to say, the title fascinated my wife so she forwarded it along.

I’m actually very glad she did. In Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, Sally Hogshead explores why you’re captivated by some people but not others. Why you recall some brands and forget the rest. Why you hear some messages, but are deaf to others.

As it states in the books inside jacket cover, “to explore and explain fascination’s irresistible influence, Sally goes beyond marketing and delves into behavioral and social studies, evolutionary anthropology and a national study of thousands of consumers to emerge with deeply rooted patterns for why, and how we become captivated.”

The seven triggers are:

  • Lust – We’re seduced by the anticipation of pleasure.
  • Mystique – We’re intrigued by unanswered questions.
  • Alarm – We take action at the threat of negative consequences.
  • Prestige – We fixate on symbols of rank and respect.
  • Power – We focus on the people and things that control us.
  • Vice – We’re tempted by “forbidden fruit”.
  • Trust – We’re loyal to reliable options.

For personal interactions, each of the above triggers leads to a different style of communication, and a different type of relationship. The more accurately you identify your personality triggers, and the more intelligently you hone them, the more influential your message becomes.

Brands apply these triggers, too. Volvo uses trust. Godiva uses lust. Fedex uses alarm. Apple Computers uses several triggers, most notably prestige and power. Triggers help companies sell products off shelves, persuade shareholders to invest, and convince key employees to stay.

The gold hallmark of a fascinating message:

  • Provokes strong and immediate emotional reactions
  • Creates advocates
  • Becomes cultural shorthand for a specific set of actions or values
  • Incites conversation
  • Forces competitors to realign around it
  • Triggers social revolutions

This book was a quick, interesting and informative read. Sally’s conversational and no-nonsense writing style coupled with a bit of humor makes the book quite enjoyable. As a non-marketing type, I now find myself much more in tune with the brand “messages” that I’m exposed to. I understand why I must “CALL NOW” as there is a “LIMITED SUPPLY” of the new gizmo!! It all makes sense… Hurry, get the phone, Billy Mays has hit my alarm trigger!!

This book would be excellent material for marketing folks, “C” level exec’s or anyone that is interested in a deeper understanding of “why” people act and respond to certain messages. I will read this again at some point because the book really was fascinating. Also check out Sally’s website and find out your own F-Score, you might be fascinated by your personal triggers.

Categories: Book Review