Fascination Triggers – a shortcut worth exploring in shopper marketing

Were you, like me, taught that taking shortcuts is a bad idea? Were you taught that the slow and thorough way of working was “THE” path to success?

And do you, today, after working for many years, want to throw that slower way of working out the window for good and get on with life at the pace of NASCAR?

Tough call, isn’t it. When I’m in creation mode, especially when it comes to strategic insights, I make myself slow down and let things “bake in my brain” while I garden, take a walk, go shopping, or clean up my office. Subconscious contemplation time is essential to a lot of my good output and I am not going to shortcut that in any way.

But, when it comes time to DO SOMETHING with an insight, as in “create the brief that inspires the messaging to the target shopper”, I think there is a shortcut we forget about and don’t use. The short cut is to really understand the target, and get right to what the brain always craves when we write message concepts, and that is fascination. Sally Hogshead gives us a way to do just that in her Fascinate book.

The BENEFIT of the applying her concept is this: We can shortcut the TARGET SHOPPER’S decision making process to plus or minus 9 seconds when we hit the right triggers and cut right through all the distraction.


The only marketers who  can get away NOT cutting through distraction are “THE Monopoly” players. But I would posit that some of those, like Apple, got there because they “get the concept” and have applied it from the get-go.

I know it’s a long video, but block 20 minutes in the next few days to watch Sally Hogshead talk about the concept of fascination at TEDX Atlanta. In the video she gives us six fascination triggers. In the book, oddly enough, she gives us seven, and starts with lust.

Power. Passion. Mystique. Prestige. Alarm. Vice. LUST.

I just had to put LUST in all caps. It’s a shopper thing, right?

A month ago I bought her book and it’s already full of highlights, turned corners and margin notes. Sally encourages everyone to find their natural  primary, secondary combination of personal fascination trigger,  harness them in your first 9 seconds of everything you do. It will get you past “just communicating” and move you to “make people fall in love.”

Not only am I going to try this for a new biz concept/company I’m working on, I’ve also used it to identify the triggers for target shopper strategy projects as well. It may well be a very beneficial shortcut on the path to purchase.

I’ll post my 9 second round-up as soon as I finish the process. Wonder what my words will end up being?

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