How to Fascinate Your Customers [Book Summary]

by | Jul 6, 2018 | Business, The Library

12 min read

Do you find ice cream fascinating? That’s silly! Instead, if your business were to be an ice cream flavor, regardless of if you like the flavor, would it be vanilla, or pistachio?

If you chose plain ol’ vanilla – run right back to the business ice cream store and tell them you dropped your cone on the pavement and you need to switch to pistachio- stat!


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This goes to help support me and The Success Mountain website – which I am so thankful for!


Vanilla is too plain.

Everyone will eat it, but it doesn’t stand out. You could buy all the vanilla ice cream in the world, but not everyone will be raving about it, food critics won’t jump out of their seats to tell everyone how great it is, and eventually people will stop asking for more.

Pistachio on the other hand, being such a unique flavor that not everyone loves, has some hardcore dedicated fans who know that it’s different, and love it just for that reason.

In fact:

They are such die-hard fans that author Sally Hogshead of the book Fascinate says people will pay premium prices for it and will even travel lengths to get it.

I recently read Sally’s book Fascinate, originally published back in 2011, and I couldn’t stop reading it.

Interestingly enough, this marketing connoisseur knows what she’s talking about! ? Sally has studied marketing over several decades and has worked with brands such as Harry Winston’s diamonds and Godiva.

Sallys book teaches you to flip the coin from what we’re normally told about building a brand: From evolving into what your audience wants, and instead, becoming more of yourself and injecting that into your brand with full force to become the all-powerful brand that you know you have in your head, but want to get out into the world!

She’s so good at marketing, she even uses her marketing techniques in her book to keep you fascinated as you read! If Sally were a car salesman, I’d buy whatever she’s selling just based on her marketing skills!

A quick note about why I chose this book:

This is a great book to start off The Success Mountain’s book summaries with, because it will be our first book summary on the site, and I get to showcase my test results, and explain the branding choices I have made so far for this site!

As I start along on this journey, I know that branding is a living breathing creature always changing and evolving – but this book has been an influential foundation for me starting a brand that I can be proud of!

Now, going back to ice cream: Why do we want to be a pistachio brand instead of vanilla? And what does it have to do with Sally’s book about branding?

Because different is better than better

Pistachio is different, and as such, is more compelling, more exciting, and more fascinating. It’s the flavor that not everyone loves, but that the fans of that unique flavor are die-hard fans of it.

If you are pistachio ice cream, your unique flavor will cause your fans to inevitably love you and be more dedicated and loyal to you.

Vanilla gets old.

You want your brand to be different, more you, more compelling, and more fascinating to your customers, right? It’s time to become pistachio.

Different is better than better. Sally Hogshead

“You don’t have to change who you are to become your most successful. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Instead, you need to become more of who you are. And when you become more of who you are, it feels effortless.
There’s no resistance in becoming more of who you already are. It’s not a matter of trying to become successful in a role, it’s a matter of choosing which roles support you and naturally succeeding.”

Marie Forelo’s Fascinate interview with Sally Hogshead


What do you mean by fascination?

Sally defines fascination as intense emotional focus, where your audience is totally captivated in the moment you’re communicating with them, without any distractions. They’re totally connected to what you’re saying.

In fact, Sally says we are all fascinating! In the book, Sally says that only 40% of us found our own lives or careers to be fascinating. However, most people don’t feel fascinating, but according to Sally, you already are!

When you walk into a room, post on social media, write a blog post, pitch your elevator pitch, or communicate to your customers or readers in any way, you’re using your fascination skills, whether you realize it or not.

Your audience is receiving cues from you while you speak, and it’s your job to define what they are hearing.

It’s a matter of finding out what aspects of your personality can be used to speak to your brand in a truly authentic way that will draw your customers in, inevitably gaining those hardcore fans that will grow your business.

The key is realizing that you are already fascinating – and this is going to be the key to building your brand in your online business.

Instead of taking what is typically said in marketing, that is, to build your audience and do more of what THEY like – realize that what is already inside you and driving you is going to be the basis for fascinating your customers.


How to Find Your Brands Advantage

Different is better than better (part deux)

Just as our pistachio example is a way to show that vanilla is great, and typically the better option for most people, a different option is sometimes all it takes to persuade to one way or the other.

If you don’t have a marketing budget the size of Mercedes or BMW, you have to stand out and be different. Therein lies your brands advantage. Finding the way that your brand communicates lies the key to success.

Lets talk about that.

The 7 Primary Brand Advantages – Which One Are You?

You have a primary advantage, and a secondary advantage in your brand. These make up your brands main personality or persona that it shows off to the world each time you deliver anything to your customers.
The primary advantage represents the main way to utilize the communication between you and your customers. The secondary advantage is going to help supplement that.

Your primary advantage is one of 7 types, and your primary and secondary advantage together puts you in a category of 1 out of 47 options.

Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Innovation Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of creativity.

Words that describe these personalities:
Forward-thinking, entrepreneurial, bold, surprising, and visionary

How to use it:
Defy the ordinary in your marketplace, find a new approach, challenge assumptions.


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Passion Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of relationship

Words that describe these personalities:
Expressive, optimistic, sensory, warm, social

How to use it:
Engage your audience, elevate emotions, solve problems, use the 5 senses, create a strong and immediate emotional response


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Power Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of confidence

Words that describe these personalities:
Assertive, goal-oriented, decisive, purposeful, opinionated

How to use it:
lead the way, take control, pursue specific goals, own your opinions


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Prestige Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of excellence

Words that describe these personalities:
Ambitious, results oriented, respected, aspirational, elite

How to use it:
Increase perceived value, set a new standard, develop emblems, limit availability


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Trust Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of stability

Words that describe these personalities:
Stable, dependable, familiar, comforting, predictable

How to use it:
Repeat and retell, be authentic, accelerate trust, use familiar cues


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Mystique Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of listening

Words that describe these personalities:
Observant, calculated, private, curiosity provoking, substantive

How to use it:
Protect information, spark curiosity, ask questions before giving answers, build mythology


Brand Building Using Brand Fascination Alert Brand Advantage - The Success Mountain | #buildingyourbrand #branding #brandyourself #branddesign


What is it?
The language of details

Words that describe these personalities:
Organized, detailed, efficient, precise, methodical

How to use it:
Sweat the small stuff, create urgency, define consequences and deadlines, use rational facts

Most Surprising Takeaways From This Book:

  • Sally talks about how important it is to utilize and be yourself. In fact, she says being more of yourself actually screens those who aren’t right for you and your brand. In other words, if you get a negative comment from some troll on the internet – don’t let it affect you, and don’t falter in your truth because of it.
    Instead, understand that you are vetting them, and screening them through your process in finding your perfect client, and your perfect audience – those true, hard-core fans that will support you and uplift you, helping you create your dream business.
    Some questions that can help you determine this: Are you selling a product that is “better” than your competition?Or are you selling an experience that is “different”?
  • People buy experiences. Hands-down. Game over. Let’s all go home.
  • You need to fascinate your customers with your primary advantage within 9 seconds of them making contact, or you may lose them
  • If you’re not adding value in your market, you’re taking up space.
  • If you believe that your brand matters – that your message matters – then you have a responsibility to deliver that message in a way that gets people to sit up and take notice.
  • You will not win by being quiet. You will win by being heard.


So, has your ice cream flavor changed? Do you favor vanilla or pistachio now?

Remember, different is better than better!

Reiterating what this fascinating author has said – the world isn’t changed by those who “sort of” care. The world is changed by people and companies that engage and inspire others to change the world.

Your brand is inside you, not your products, and what you are passionate about, and what’s already in you is what you need to talk about, do, or take action on.

You need to speak your truth to your audience, speak honestly, passionately, and use your fascination advantages to speak directly to your customers in order to make a difference in your brand, business, and the world.

I hope you enjoyed this book summary for Sally Hogsheads Fascinate!



1 | I encourage you to go take the F-Score test

There’s a free version to find your primary advantage. You can pay to get the secondary, but I haven’t done so. Instead, I recommend you read the book, because it has a LOT of information and you can feel out your general secondary advantage that feels like you.

2 | I also recommend you read the book

It says so much more than I can in this post!

3 | Then please come share your results in the comments!

I’d love to know what your primary advantage is!

Hardcover | Audiobook | Kindle

How to Fascinate Your Customers Using Your Brands Personality [Book Summary] | The Success Mountain | Need to know what will make your customers convert? What exact copy and words can you say to get them to buy? Fascinate them by using your brands personality to buy your product! #branding #sallyhogshead #booksummary #howtosell #buildingyourbrand #brandbuilding