Sally Hogshead: The Power of Fascination

When associations fascinate their members, they create irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind experiences that  boost member engagement and loyalty.

Are you giving your members a green ticket or an orange ticket? It had better be an orange one, said author and fascination expert Sally Hogshead during Sunday’s Opening General Session, “The Fascination Advantage: From First Impressions to Lasting Value,” at the 2013 Great Ideas Conference.

Why an orange ticket? Because that’s the one that provides members with a distinct, irreplaceable experience they can’t get anywhere else. The green ticket, on the other hand, is a commodity members would be willing to trade in for something better, which in many instances could mean their membership to your organization.

Hogshead said what will allow you to create that orange ticket is using your personality—as well as your association’s personality—to add distinct value. Associations will build commitment and emotional investment as a result. “There has never been a more crucial time to use our natural personality advantages,” she said. “The greatest value you can add is to become more of who you are. … Today it is more about how the world sees you than how you see the world.”

The greatest value you can add is to become more of who you are.

And Hogshead said by figuring out your fascination advantage (there are 49 personality archetypes), you can reach your peak ability to influence.  Doing so will mean recruiting new members, attracting new types of members, and better targeting your current members’ needs. “When you fascinate, you become a commodity,” she said. And the ROI on fascination is huge: Research shows that people are willing to pay four times more for the same product, are more loyal, and are more likely to take action when they are fascinated.

Hogshead also stressed that “relationships with [fellow] members are more important than the membership itself.” To illustrate this point, she used a product many audience members were familiar with: Jägermeister. Hogshead said most (including the majority who raised their hand in the audience) don’t drink the liquor for the taste, but rather for the experience (i.e., bonding with friends over a shot late at night) that is known to come with it.

“Don’t you want your association to be known for the experiences you deliver?” she said. “… Remember the thing that makes you different is what makes others love you.”

How is your association creating that orange-ticket experience for your members?

(Sabrina Kidwai/ASAE)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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