Friday, July 18, 2008

Name Everyone You've Ever Met

Chances Are The List Is Small

By David Miranda

Our memory is generally good - but that not good. That's why we rely on Outlook, Rolodexes,photo albums, diaries, reunions, weddings, funerals, home movies, and various other tools, devices, and methods to help us remember and remind us of people we know.

From this group of everyone we've ever met or known, we all have a much shorter list that we can extemporaneously share. These are people, whether they we friends, family, or business colleagues that we have the most recent, frequent, or strongest ties with. Others, for one reason or another, have drifted away from your brain's short list - until, however, you are reminded by that unexpected phone call or email; spring cleaning of your Outlook or Rolodex, or attending that reunion, wedding, or funeral.

Such is the case with brands. Name every brand you've ever purchased. Chances are you will remember a short list, but have forgotten more than you've remembered. This is why brands need to advertise - to keep their brand top of mind with people with short memories. The brands that occupy top of "unaided brand recall" lists have a significant advantage over those that do not.

There are a gazillion brands out there, but only a few you will be able to recall without some help. Take this simple test and see how you:

Name three brands in each of the following categories:

  1. bottled water
  2. luggage
  3. shoes
  4. mobile phones
  5. shampoo
  6. SUV's
  7. batteries
  8. snack foods
  9. fast food chain
  10. online shopping sites

Considering the many to choose from, think why you made your choices.

It's probably because these brands advertised to you. Just like in personal relationships, unless one or both parties make and effort to engage, i.e. "stay in touch", they won't make the cut for your short list.

The lesson is this. Forget about your audience and you are relegated to dusty memory files in the back of people's minds. Keep your brand current or go the way of such once dominant brands as Pepsodent, RC Cola, Netscape, RCA, Atari, Motown, Timex, PF Flyers, TWA, Braniff, PanAm, etc.

Today preference is perishable in a world of uber-choice.