Is there a formula for creating memorable brand experiences? Can it apply to every brand? Or are memories so personal, so unique, that brands are better off applying a spread-betting format in a hope to hit a good number of their target consumers? How memorable can a digital experience be? Do we need to make an experience physical to really make it resonate?

Science now tells us that there are definitely ways of improving our odds of remembering brands. Our synapses, those clever little brain gadgets that transmit information around our grey matter, respond best to new information and new experiences. When we give our brains cool new events to feast on it creates longer-lasting, stronger synaptic connections. Add ‘exciting’ into the new mix – think iris enhancing or tear jerking emotions and heart pumping adrenalin inducing experience and our synapses switch into pass me a Pina Colada party mode. Our brains even rate these types of experiences so highly that they store them in a different part of the brain to our regular memories.

Thanks to the hundreds of communication channels we’re all tapped into, we’re currently bombarded with over 10,000 new pieces of information a day. With greater thanks to our natural human instinct, we cleverly reject over 99% of these. Comparing the latest car insurance premiums isn’t exactly going to win us a survival of the fittest contest and our brain knows it. So how can we encourage our consumers’ brains to switch off their in-built message filtration system and bank a brand memory?

Journalist Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein spent a year being tutored by ‘mental athletes’ and recounts how we can all improve our memory with a few easy to adopt changes. His advice; things that are kooky, colourful and moving are the most memorable. It makes sense. Try to remember a brand of tea bag sitting in a cup and saucer on a table and it would probably blend into every cup of tea that you’ve ever seen or tasted. Maybe the cup was a funky colour, maybe there’s a hot lady or guy taking a sultry sip, a spring of mint for decoration.

Nice, but it’s not exactly groundbreaking and very unlikely to stand out in an advert line-up. Now… put that cup of tea on a trampoline, have it sky-dive over the Sahara Desert or abseil down the Eiffel Tower and you’ve certainly got my synapses standing to attention.

Better still film the event in front of a live audience and watch them capture and share the memory. Then produce the content, air it and watch the memories digitally multiply.

Brand experience and experiential marketing agencies are geared up to literally get your brands into action. Their little black book of suppliers can turn your drinks into a quaffable Niagara falls, your cars into flying machines and your financial conferences into fiestas, and their actions work. The latest statistics show that a whopping 98% of consumers said that seeing a product or service marketed through an experiential marketing campaign would make them more inclined to remember it and purchase it and that’s an increase from 96% in 2014.

So then if the formula reads ‘long-term brand recall = new + exciting + actions’ or simplified, kinetic energy = memorable content squared (where squared = digitally amplified) and the science and the stats are there to back it up, isn’t it time you got your brand moving?

 

References:

Evolve Your Brain, Joe Dispenza and LeDoux J (2001) The Synaptic Self: How our brains become who we are.

Moonwalking with Einstein, Joshua Foer

EventTrack Survey 2015

Comment