The 7 triggers of fascination a franchise needs to learn to stand out


Creating buzz around a franchise is important but not as straightforward as you’d think. There are a lot of franchises out there all vying for attention. The challenge is to attract a prospect, build a relationship and close the sale. But in a competitive environment, the most fascinating option wins.

The problem is that being fascinating scares most franchisees and makes them uncomfortable. It’s not safe and it can be controversial. But what does it mean to be fascinating? It comes from ancient Latin – fascinare which means to bewitch or hold captive so people are powerless to resist. That sounds like something that would be useful to master as a franchisee.

To demonstrate, let’s look at the most competitive environment on earth for content – online dating. There are roughly 30 million people on all competing to find “the one.” Their challenge is the same as ours – to attract a prospect, build a relationship and close the sale. All that competition and the best most people can come up with for an intro is “Hi.” But “Hi” is the Gap Khakis of content. It’s comfortable, safe and not controversial. But if “Hi” is the best you’ve got you’ve already lost because it fails to fascinate.

It’s our job as franchisees and marketers to create brands and content that fascinates because when we do, franchises become more profitable, more valuable and more fulfilling for consumers. In fact, a recent study found that women were willing to pay more to feel fascinated then they were for food and shoes combined.

Women are willing to pay more to feel fascinated then they are for food and shoes combined. Click To Tweet

So, how do we create brands that fascinate? Chris Brogan, a social media expert has discovered that there are 7 triggers of fascination. They are: power, passion, mystique, prestige, alarm, rebellion and trust. Here’s how to use them.

1. Power is about taking command and being the trusted expert. This is a tactic employed by Google. What do you do when you want to know something? Do you look it up? No, you Google it.

2. Passion is about attracting with emotion. When a brand uses passion, it makes you want to play and participate with it. This builds loyalty and turns fans into advocates.

3. Mystique arouses curiosity because a piece of the puzzle is purposely missing. It makes you want to know. It makes us curious by asking questions.

4. Prestige is all about enhancing respect. Brands that leverage prestige are perceived as more aspirational and as somehow more than what we currently have. It’s about seeing the world not as it is but for how it could be. Think Mercedes – “The best, or nothing.”

5. Alarm is about creating urgency. It’s like when Fed-ex says, “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” When potential negative consequences are leveraged it triggers the alarm response.

6. Rebellion revolves around changing the game. It’s when a brand takes the status quo, turns it on its head and say’s no, here’s another way of looking it. This is a tactic used by some of the most innovative brands in the world because it keeps people guessing at what they’ll do next. It’s like Tesla launching an actual car into space.

7. Trust builds loyalty. Our brains are hard wired to like patterns and to know what they can expect next. So, the more chaotic an environment the more our brains seek trust. So, if marketing a brand during a chaotic period such as a bank during a recession… you want to establish trust by creating patterns, stability, reliability and dependability.

To create a franchise that stands out from the crowd and steps into the hearts and minds of consumers here’s what you have to remember. Create a fascinating story that is unforgettable and ensure your messaging is consistent across all franchise locations.

Remember, you can be innovative or comfortable, but not both. Being innovative by definition is being uncomfortable. And when it comes to social media, the world doesn’t need another tweet, it needs opinions and a point of view. So, if your brand is too cautious to provoke discussion or isn’t willing to join the conversation stay away from it. Social media after all, is about being social.

One final thought to leave you with… In a competitive environment the most fascinating option wins.

In a competitive environment the most fascinating option wins. Click To Tweet