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What is customer memory? If you lift weights like I do, you might be familiar with the phrase muscle memory. It's defined on Wikipedia as...
... a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition. When a movement is repeated over time, a long-term muscle memory is created for that task, eventually allowing it to be performed without conscious effort. This process decreases the need for attention and creates maximum efficiency within the motor and memory systems.
... or as it pertains to strength training...
... the observation that various muscle-related tasks seem to be easier to perform after previous practice, even if the task has not been performed for a while. It's as if the muscles “remember.”... the observation that strength trained athletes experience a rapid return of muscle mass and strength even after long periods of inactivity.
Customer memory is similar, except focused on your customers and the customer experience.
What do you do for your customers every day that makes your brand memorable? What do you do repeatedly and consistently for your customers that causes those who haven't shopped or used your brand for a while to return without conscious effort? How easy is it for them to remember your brand when the need arises? What do you do that supports or facilitates customer memory?
I recently read a couple of articles about how memorable and emotional advertising is what companies should strive to develop - that it's what they'll need to have in order to grow the business. It's extremely frustrating to read that. It's disappointing when companies feel they need to rely on advertising, period, in order to drive retention and growth.
Advertising might drive awareness and consideration, but only the experience drives preferences, repurchases, recommendations, and overall loyalty and growth. Advertising doesn't create memories; the experience does. Which of those outcomes do you prefer?
I've said before that a great customer experience is personal, memorable, remarkable, emotional, and consistent. Consistency sets expectations and creates predictability. I think that's what customer memory is rooted in.
What do customers remember about your brand?
God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. -J.M. Barrie