Book Report | Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead

Sally Hogshead's book, Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, offered conversational, easy-to-read marketing-related anecdotes, but lacked true depth of thought and would have been better packaged as a magazine article, blog post, or TED Talk.  The book outlined seven "triggers" that capture attention and serve as shortcuts to persuasion.  Each trigger chapter was formatted the same way: introduction of the trigger, description of how it can be used persuasively, then example after example of how various campaigns purportedly used the trigger successfully.  Below is a brief summary of the seven triggers.

LUST makes people crave your message or product, and seduces with the anticipation of pleasure. 

MYSTIQUE intrigues people with unanswered questions, leading them to want to learn more about your product.

ALARM compels people to take action in order to avoid negative consequences.

PRESTIGE inspires envy through symbols of rank and respect.

POWER controls people because they defer to you and your message.

VICE tempts people with a forbidden fruit, getting them to deviate from their usual habits.

TRUST gains loyalty by comforting and relaxing people through familiar messaging.

Overall, I think the information was interesting, but should not be weighed too heavily in strategic campaign development, as Hogshead's evidence was often tangential, and empirical at best.  There was little concrete information about practical execution of the triggers, and the book seemed like an overly-ambitious marketing tool for Hogshead's brand consulting business, rather than an earnest attempt to empower readers with proven, replicable marketing techniques.  At the end of the day, Hogshead is a marketer, and is, in my opinion, more comfortable using "smoke and mirrors" than is ethical or sustainable.