There’s a chance that Jagermeister’s secret ingredient is either elk’s blood or Valium. It’s unconfirmed, but Coca-Cola’s Secret Recipe is known by only two people and each of them only know half of it. I’m wondering, do you have the guts to look in your bathroom mirror and repeat the word “Candyman” three times?
That mixture or unbelief and curiosity you feel is…Mystique.
Coca-Cola, Red Bull, eBay, Apple, Jeff “Happy” Schulman, Cirque Du Solei, and KFC uses it. How about you?
I know that the notion of transparency is sacred in blogging circles but it isn’t always profitable. Don’t crucify me yet…hear me out.
At first, I had a problem with Mystique. It seemed too dark and controversial. But, then I realized that most of us already use Mystique every day.
- Ever consider using a pseudonym to author your blog posts?
- Do you disguise yourself with an avatar?
- How about withholding details about your personal life, no matter how innocent? Sure there are some good reasons, but c’mon you know you like being a bit mysterious.
If your blog or brand is controversial and mysterious then mystique is a powerful way to be irresistible. The more you hide the more intriguing you become.
How to Use the Power of Mystique
Use the Velvet Rope:
Ever been to a dance club where a special section for VIPs is separated by a red velvet rope? That velvet rope makes people do crazy things. (One time I paid $500 for a bottle of champagne to get into the VIP area of a club in Vegas…and I thought that was a steal 😉
The velvet rope is a powerful Mystique tool because it restricts access. Use it.
Purposely create a level of access to you that only a privileged few have. A private forum, coaching class, or “diamond” membership level will do the trick. Better yet, don’t publish the criteria for access. It’s for you to know and everyone else to find out.
Create Irresistible Myths
Myths are ancient and primal. We use them to give meaning to the unexplained. Whenever we hear a story that is too fantastic to believe, we run headlong into myth. We want to discredit it – but somehow we can’t. We want to believe.
Mystique uses myths to conceal secrets and challenge the reader to find the answers – leading them into a deeper relationship.
A story repeated often becomes a myth: eBay’s Pez Dispenser story. Apple’s garage birth. You too have a story that can become myth. All you have to do is repeat it. Take your blog’s origin story and repeat it often, in speeches, ebooks, keynote presentations and annual state of the blog posts. The key to pulling this is off is dogged persistence. You’ve gotta keep telling the same story even when you are sick of it.
You’ve hit pay dirt when your readers begin to repeat the story for you.
Another quick tip,
Look for opportunities to deliver absolutely phenomenal experience to several of your customers or readers. For example, contact a frequent commenter and give them a free consulting session or free travel and admission to a conference. Send one of your Twitter contacts a free ebook that everyone else has to buy. Say nothing to the public about these stories. Soon, word will leak out and the tales of your generosity will become a powerful myth.
Believe me, this works – Ask Nordstroms
Encourage Gossip and Secrets
It’s better than to be talked about than ignored. Purposely let some distorted facts run wild (if it doesn’t hurt your business).
You can take this one step further by purposely creating a personae. Johnny B. Truant, Lady Gaga, and Prince are alter-egos that allow the artist to be bold. If you are willing to live behind the curtain, your personae will create the mystique needed to turn you into an addiction.
Is there a process, procedure, or step-by-step formula that you use to create your product? Is it contained in a post on your blog? If so, threaten to remove the post and then do it. Tell your readers that you felt that the post’s information was too valuable to show the competition. Now periodically refer to this “secret” process. Mystique at it’s best.
Mystique is Not for the Faint-Hearted
Mystique is a demanding partner that requires constant vigilance and creativity. This Fascination trigger is the closest thing to pure “show business” that you can use. But, the rewards are immense. Your readers will fall in love with the experience and reward you for your daring.
I just realized that you might have a tough time figuring out if your blog can use Mystique. Here’s a list of some candidates:
- Fitness Training (hidden training and weight loss secrets)
- Pop Culture and Entertainment
- Science Fiction
- Alternative Health
- Martial Arts
- Dating and Relationships
- Collecting and Antiques
- Gaming (Role Playing Games, War Craft, etc)
Hey there, can you use Mystique to make your brand unforgettable? What’s scary about mystique? Why do you like it?