As business people how do we get our prospects to remember us?
I teach a memoir writing class and now apply some of what I’ve learned about memory to marketing communications. When tied to an emotion, facts and events are more likely to be stored in long term memory. Neuroscientists call the physical manifestation of memory engrams. Stored engrams can be activated by cues or stimuli. In business these can be a graphic logo, an ad, or word of mouth mention. We may not be conscious of the cues, but they are activating our memory and influencing our
To help boost sales companies can create a customer experience strategy based on how customers feel while interacting with a business or product. As I understand it, the feeling becomes a memory and can then be activated with cues. Customer service and communication are at the center of this. When your customer has either a really good or disturbing experience it will likely end up in their long term memory. Those already familiar with your business or product are likely to remember details better because they are adding information to an existing memory. Accuracy of the recollection decreases over time, so reinforcing a good memory should be part of your customer experience strategy.
Metaphors add another layer to memory by asserting that two things are the same. Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman writes that metaphors help “shape what and how we think.” Interestingly, the more distant the metaphor, the better. He uses an example of a bank that included a Seeing Eye dog in its ad. After viewing the ad, people related feelings of warmth and reliability to the bank. A less distant metaphor, such as a vault, would have less effect.
Understanding how memory and metaphor affect the unconscious mind can help businesses market better. Long lasting memories rely on relevance, mood, emotion, existing concepts, story, distinctness, and other elements that affect recall. For businesses the emphasis remains on how to best serve and add value in a
Remember, creating good memories for people is a worthwhile and profitable thing to do. Listen carefully. What metaphors do your customers use when talking about your products and services?