fascinate“Fascinate” is a new book by Sally Hogshead. Part marketing tips, part self-help, I found the book an easy, entertaining read in the style of Malcolm Gladwell (“Blink,” “Outliers,” “Tipping Point”) and at the same time chock full of interesting insights with personal relevance. (Full disclosure: Ms. Hogshead is the sister of my group CEO.)

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

Each trigger adds a different type of attraction:
– Mystique adds curiosity  
– Lust adds warmth and humanity
– Alarm adds a sense of adventure or immediacy, or even danger
– Power adds respect or fear
– Vice adds irreverence
– Prestige makes us feel more worthwhile, valued, respected, perhaps even safer
– Trust adds stability and comfort

By understanding the attraction behind each trigger, you can more precisely explain and predict why otherwise meaningless things can become intensely desirable.

Let me explain. Nothing is, in itself, fascinating. But triggers are. Triggers turn otherwise ordinary objects into fascinations. When one of your triggers is activated, you are compelled to focus, whether you want to or not. Triggers can take something that’s relatively meaningless, such as a swoosh symbol, and give it meaning as the Nike logo.

The key is to learn your triggers and those of others, then use them only for good, as they are powerful.

As always, self-awareness and understanding your own internal programming (and that of others) is an important step along life’s journey!