CAP Blog Sticky Memory A 2

Stories Worth Remembering

How many agencies, publicity firms, creative partners and the rest use the phrase, “We are storytellers.” somewhere in their messaging? Too many to count. Sure, it isn’t necessarily untrue, most people are capable of spinning a yarn or two , but can you craft one that sticks in the memories of the right audience? That’s the challenge most miss, and brands need in order to exist.

Simple point; a brand doesn’t exist if it doesn’t have a place in your memory.

Our memory is more complex than the RAM / ROM harddrive construct would imply, because we use naturally gathered short cuts; heuristics. We also have cognitive biases that impact our behaviors and how we process memories. All of this said, and more that wouldn’t fit into this post certainly showcases how fickle the human memory is to understand.

Everyone faces the basic challenge of getting people to remember a brand at the moment of need, desire or want. Brand owners use frequency much like those individuals who press an elevator button over and over again expecting it to get you there faster,, and yet, people still fail to make the basic connections brands hope them to observe. As an example, Coca-Cola conducted a study asking patrons exiting a stadium in Atlanta, what brand sponsors do they remember. The results for the major sponsor were in single digits even with the stadium painted in the Coca-Cola red.

The Coke brand had become wallpaper to the experience, present and accounted for but lacking in memorable engagement. This makes a simple case for immersive brand experiences vs logo plastering. The more immersive, the better chance a memory is made. The more emotional engagement, the better chance your brand will be part of the conversation.

In contrast, Coke in Ireland had commissioned artists to paint on public and approved walls using the Coke red in some manner, but without abundantly using the Coke name. The result was an emotional, expressive experience with a high degree of engagement and memory. And, it made this particular traveler quite thirsty.

Making a memory with a word or expression needs to find the outer edges of creativity and culture. It has to fight the eye roll inducing plague of cliche and pull an audience into an immersive experience. Words are a cognitive exercise for our audiences, they need to reward the reader with a bit of delight, unknown or surprising twist.

This is essential to move away from being noisy, to being a part of the contextual and cultural conversation.

Three lessons from this;

  1. Respect the reader as if you knew them and wanted to impress them. They are your muse and empathy for their situation should be your inspiration.

  2. Your audience should feel like someone put thought, energy and consideration into the words they’ve used to connect them with the brand.

  3. Be immersive to be memorable, a shallow message gets a shallow memory and the brand eventually becomes a shallow brand.

We love our brands, let’s love our audiences in return with words they can appreciate and remember.

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Categories Branding, Design Thinking

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