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Why Your Brand is all In the Customer’s Mind

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I came across this fascinating Tedx talk by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman: The Riddle of Experience vs. Memory and started thinking about the implications it had for marketing and customer interaction.

The theory is that we all have an ‘experiencing self’, which is us as we actually live an event, and a ‘remembering self’, which is founded on the memories we construct after the fact.  The difference between the two can be staggering.  And crucially it’s the remembering self that takes precedence when it comes to decision making.

So much so that a happy customer relationship of 10 years could count for nothing if the last encounter they have with you is a bad one.   That may not actually be that surprising.  But what is interesting is that the reverse is also true – a terrible experience can actually result in a positive memory providing it doesn’t come at the end on the interaction.  (If you want the proof for this I suggest you watch the Tedx Talk to find out more about the eye-watering colonoscopy experience…)

Daniel explains that time has very little to do with the creation of these memories.  A great week’s holiday of lazing by the pool will result in a handful of treasured moments, but if you double that same holiday to a fortnight you wouldn’t end up with double the memories.  For that to happen you’d have to suddenly decide to go skiing or head off on safari for the 2nd week.

What all this means is that your customer’s relationship with you is built on a collection of memories they have about their experiences with your products and services, rather than the experiences themselves.  And it’s these memories that customer will use to makes all their decisions.

So how can we keep brands fresh in the minds of our customers?

  • Keep your marketing  vivid and update your messaging regularly to help create new memories
  • Keep looking for inventive ways to surprise and delight them
  • Try reaching out to them on new, unexpected channels
  •  Interact with them little and often – it’s what will make the most memories
  • Leave each interaction on a positive note – even if it means artificially extending it.

Why not let us know your thoughts on the topic?

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