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How our memory affects brand choices


Emirates_A380_2Behold the wonder of branding! Some branding observations I made this week included seeing the brand livery on an Emirates Airlines  jet, with its logo from side to side and (yes) on the under belly of the plane. I also saw 26 product placements (AKA embedded marketing) in a 30 second sports interview.

In an era where digital marketing is much the hype and has taken centre stage, it is imperative to note that branding is largely based on scientific study of consumer behaviour.

It appears somewhat, that the era of digital has thrown more focus on pushing technology out to the consumer as a primary form of gaining attention. The use of technology is mandatory for us to break the menacing media clutter faced by Marketers. That being the case, many learned Marketers would like to re-affirm that, consumer memory and brand choices are made through a complex set of memory systems that acquires, retains and recalls brand related information that is activated at the point of purchase / decision making. If this is all too much of a boggle, then stop reading now as it is about to get more complexed.

Renowned Consumer Behavioural writer Frank Kardes explains that, the human brain comprises multiple memory systems. The brain retrieves information into the short term memory from it’s long term memory. Purchase decisions are may be made days, weeks or months after product/brand information is acquired. The gap in time between information acquisition and use must be bridged by what is known as a “memory system”. It is therefore essential that in order for long term memory to be de-coded properly it needs to be encoded effectively.

If you are still with me, this is a big area of consumer behaviour study. Retrieving product information memory begins with the activation of a node (Kardes). However, once one node is activated, other closely related nodes are activated also. Simply stated, activation spreads. I think you get the picture here.

The key principles of long term memory are – The Encoding-Specificity of long term memory, Organisation principle and Association principle.

I will detail these 3 principles in my next blog due anytime soon. So, literally watch this space.


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