Ask most people in your office, and they won’t remember what they had for dinner last night, let alone the last advert they saw. In all the noise of the digital world – with ads and brand messages being served up at every conceivable juncture – how can we, as marketers, ensure that our brand stands out, encouraging recall when it matters most?
The key is understanding how memories form in the first place, and then applying this in a meaningful way to brand strategies, experiences, advertising, etc.
It’s a few days after the event now, and putting recall to the test, what’s been filed as useful insights by my memory?
1. Memory storage in the brain is more structured than was first thought, with two main types of long-term memory – explicit (from an actual experience) and implicit (unconscious). Also, memories are edited or reconstructed slightly whenever they are recalled (Dr. Amy Milton, University of Cambridge)
2. The brain records visual memories as a series of ‘snapshots’ or stills, much like a camera. Brands can use some simple tricks to encourage the brain to take snapshots to encode memories, for example (in adverts) weave the brand into the narrative, leverage tension and breaks, and avoid conceptual closure (Heather Andrew, Neuro-Insight)
3. Invoke shared memories, such as thunder storms, to create a more emotional experience of a brand, supercharging recall and affinity (Mike Roberts, Green Room)
4. Our senses don’t act in isolation; the brain merges information from multiple senses, with our previous experience shaping how we perceive this. Plus, the aesthetics of a product can change consumers’ perception of the product for better, or worse (Catherine Jansson-Boyd, Anglia Ruskin University)
5. Modernising the iconic Captain Birdseye took neurological studies and some calculated risks (and a lot of discussions about fish fingers) to successfully pull off (Becky Nascimento, Birds Eye)
6. The power of nostalgia for creative stand out – borrowing narratives from childhood memories such as He-Man gets the brain to do the heavy lifting for you, invoking and reconstructing old memories. Just make sure your own brand is still front of place in the melee (Liz Telford, Moneysupermarket)
7. And memory techniques from a Memory Champion? Create associations and narratives and encourage active recall with spaced repetition – which doesn’t mean retargeting ads the second someone leaves your site! (Ed Cooke, Memrise)
While in b2b we might not typically create TV ads or physical experiences, there’s certainly more to explore to create truly memorable brand experiences. At BDB, we believe people buy from people, regardless of what industry or sector you’re in. We always look beyond the rational reasons for customers to buy, opening up the emotional side of the brain for better, more sustained brand engagement.
Get in touch to find out more.