We live in a world where getting noticed is getting harder and harder. Whether we’re launching a start-up, trying to promote a book, or convincing people to read our blog, our targeted audience is bombarded with messages and information.
How do you stand out from the crowds?
Captivology (clever title by the way) is all about the psychology of capturing people’s attention, whatever you may need it for.
It discusses seven ‘attention triggers’, more or less scientifically proven methods of getting noticed:
- Automacity trigger
- Framing trigger
- Disruption trigger
- Reward trigger
- Reputation trigger
- Mystery trigger
- Acknowledgment trigger
Some of these are well known—companies have applied the reward trigger for instance to draw new talent, with various results—others not so much. Captivology discusses these seven triggers in details, including many studies to prove their value, and offers practical suggestions for applying it to your efforts.
The automacity trigger for instance relies on contrast and association. It’s why the ‘buy now’ buttons on websites are so often orange; it makes them stand out. Experiments have shown that a bigger ‘download now’ button in a different color can boost sales tremendously.
Some of this is counterintuitive—which makes it all the more interesting. The acknowledgment trigger explains for instance why instant cake mixes when they came out weren’t all that successful. All you had to do was add water, and yet women didn’t buy them. Until the geniuses behind Betty Crocker discovered women wanted to contribute something themselves, to participate in the process. So they took out the powdered eggs and made you add your own eggs. Sales took off like a rocket.
I’m always fascinated by how much our brains do and decide subconsciously and this book shares some fascinating research. Did you know that the color red makes people appear more attractive? A simple red frame around a photo made the person in the photo appear more attractive to strangers. Stuff like that; I can’t get enough of it.
The info in this book is of interest to anyone trying to get people’s attention, for a product, a service, a message, or anything else. It’s a quick and easy read that will make you shake your head at times over the simplicity of some aspects, the counter-intuitiveness of others, and the blunders of folks who got it wrong.
Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention has the right mix of solid info backed by research, entertaining and helpful stories (although I would have loved to see a few more examples of brands who got it right) to drive the points home, and practical advice to help you apply what you’ve learned.