Have you ever waited in a line around the block just to make sure you are first to get the latest shiny new widget?
Have you ever ordered something because there is only 44 left at an amazing price and this offer is not found in stores?
You have ever paid a more for a particular brand when you could have bought a generic?
You might not have realized it at the time but these products were using triggers to turn ordinary messages into something worth paying attention to. Sally Hogshead covers seven of these triggers in her book Fascinate.
As a marketer I enjoyed learning how you can use techniques such building trust or using alarm to increase consumer desirability. I also found it useful to understand how these triggers impact my own buying decisions.
From a product standpoint, there are a lot of good takeaways that you can use when planning. Reducing options while raising prices, allowing customizations, and using unique ingredients are all techniques that can be used to gain attention and make your product fascinating.
The end goal is to move beyond traditional feature improvements such as faster, longer, thinner, stronger, brighter. This gives you an opportunity to enter a new place in the market that is challenging for your competitor to duplicated (and gets people talking).
Sally offers a concrete example of increasing the prestige of a somewhat boring product line,
Say you’re a leading diaper brand. You make perfectly good diapers, ones that absorb without leaks, and have comfy Velcro on the sides. Your product benefits are necessary; however, as badges, they’re not fascinating. These badges plop in the middle of your bell curve, rather than out at the fringe. How might you create fascinating badges? If you created a line of diaper covers with Gwen Stefani’s LAMB fashion label, that would activate prestige (the trigger) and get people talking (the hallmark).
I have captured a few more of my favorite quotes from the book below: