Crest Toothpaste Ad, 1964

How to be Fascinating – Sally Hogshead

Think of a brand to which you are loyal, or better yet, for which you are an advocate.  Toilet paper, automobile make, shampoo, yogurt… etc.  Why are you fascinated by this brand’s advertising or image?

I just listened to Wayne Hurlbert’s Blog Business Success May 7, 2010 podcast, in which he interviewed Sally Hogshead. It only took about twenty minutes of listening for me to be not only fascinated by her work, but eager to share the revelations with others. Hogshead’s book, Fascinate, is based on three years of researching thousands of people to find out what makes a person or a brand fascinating. People who work in marketing will find her ideas useful because consumers have what Hogshead accurately pegs, “the attention span of a goldfish.”

The premise of the F Score Test is that you are fascinating, but how?  Hogshead has identified seven universal Triggers of fascination: sally hogshead with Fascinate book cover

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

Note: Fascination is not synonymous with respect, popularity, reverence, or even liking.  Fascination is just about captivation and not being able to ignore the subject.  We each have a primary, secondary, and dormant trigger we project to the world everyday.

What fascinates Chris Brogan?
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o8tE4QZq6w]

Hogshead gives corporate brand examples in her interview with Zane Safrit:

Brand: Godiva

Primary trigger: Lust

Godiva. We developed a drink called Chocolixier. There was a whole sensory experience that lets the consumer relate.

Apple does this as well. You are able to be a part of the brand. It is about an openness and availability. You create a space where people want to draw closer. Brands are incorporating more of the Lust trigger.

I took the test and so enjoyed reading my results… incredibly accurate. I recommend at least taking the free 28 question online test on her site. Very quick and so useful. The results identify how you fascinate others (when you do fascinate them) and what you might do to round out your fascinating self (I.e., activating your dormant trigger. Mine happens to be mystique- so I would do well to hold back some information now and again.)

About Hogshead: Sally’s work and insights have been profiled by The New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and MSNBC. She’s been described by the press as “intrepid” and an “advertising mastermind…” And I love this: When not writing and speaking, Sally campaigns to bring back the ‘hogshead’ as a unit of popular measurement in the U.S.” (A hogshead is a barrel that holds 62 gallons.)

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  • Emily –

    Thanks for sharing the link. Great test.

  • Great post about not only a great author but her fantastic resources: Her book, Fascinate and the F Test.

    Thanks for linking to transcripts of our conversation. Sally proved to be one of my favorite guests.

    • Emily

      Thanks, Zane. I thought your conversation with Sally was very informative. I would like to meet her sometime.