Fixated on Fascination

Discovering how you fascinate others can lead to more effective and persuasive communication.

May 11, 2012
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Fascination isn’t something you obtain, it’s something you tap into, says science-based marketer and brand guru Sally Hogshead.

Hogshead—who will deliver a keynote speech at CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference, June 17-20 in San Diego—is an international speaker and the author of “Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation.”

During her presentation, Hogshead will help reveal people’s innate fascination triggers through her Fascination Advantage test.

The test, normally $17, will be provided free to conference attendees. Attendees are encouraged to fill out the test before Hogshead’s speech.

Hogshead recently told Credit Union Magazine what’s so fascinating about fascination, discussed the seven triggers of fascination—power, passion, mystique, prestige, alarm, rebellion, and trust—and what credit unions can learn from Jägermeister liqueur.

CU Mag: Tell me about fascination. What’s fascinating about fascination?

Hogshead: Fascination is an intense emotional focus. When you are fascinated by something you are completely immersed in it. You’re mesmerized by it.

We know this feeling when we’re reading a book and we are so captivated by the story and the characters that we stop thinking about everything else around us.

But more importantly, we know this feeling in life when we are captivated by a speaker, a co-worker, or by somebody that is giving a presentation.

We can create these moments of fascination voluntarily, and we can control the way the brain is hardwired to respond and use that to communicate, not only more effectively but more persuasively.

CU Mag: How can CUs—institutions that project stability and have long-term relationships with members—maintain fascination over time?

Hogshead: In order to fascinate people over time you have to be fascinating more than once.

It is about using the trust trigger. The trust trigger is founded on consistency, reliability, and patterns. The more we can build patterns, the more people can deepen their relationship to us—and continue to be fascinated, not just once, but build that thing called loyalty.

It’s about making sure people know exactly what you are going to deliver, and delivering that in a way that they don't even need to think about it. Because we live in a world that is chaotic and overwhelming, and there is something that feels really good about knowing exactly what we are going to get.

The downside to the trust trigger and sturdiness is that they can become boring. We have to constantly inject other triggers like passion, rebellion, prestige, or mystique to sustain attraction.

NEXT: How can fascination work for a business?

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