How Humans Form Memories
Now that we better understand the memory-making process, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Here’s how to shape content to aid each step and to aid the retrieval of those memories.
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By better understanding how memory works and mapping your content to those operations, your content will speak louder, travel further,
and mean more to your customers.
When we think of soda to purchase, we instantly think of a few that
have come to mind. They’ve built mental availability.
Becoming part of someone’s purchasing heuristic means being memorable.
Once you’ve done that, you can count on people staying customers for longer.
We may think that we're rational.
Memory creation starts with perception, so play to your chosen format and affect as many of them as you can to grab attention:
50% of the mind processes visuals. So when you keep things visually consistent with your brand — logo, colors, fonts, etc — it forms stronger retrieval cues among your audiences. It also helps you stand out; you don’t pay attention one blade of grass over another unless there’s something weird about it.
Follow this handy checklist to make sure your content is best positioned to start creating and enriching memories.
While the whole brain is likely involved in memory building,
there are two structures that play special roles. And they sit right next to each other.
How to Make Content that Forms Memories
You also don’t pay attention if you’re receiving a message at the wrong time, when you don’t have the time to properly process content, or if it comes at an inappropriate moment.
Researchers haven’t quite pinned down exactly how the human mind creates memories, but attention has gravitated to the Atkinson– Shiffrin model, originally proposed in 1968.
But to do that, we should understand
how memories are actually created.
How Memory Impacts Brand Building
Remember the amygdala? It deals in emotions. Once someone is perceiving you, has recognized you, and is giving you their time, you have the opportunity to engage with them on an emotional level. The most resonant content appeals to intuition over reason.
We most often use heuristics to make our decisions, and then use reasoning to rubber-stamp or rationalize those choices.
A big part of the marketer’s job is to make sure the brand is not forgotten — so that when the time comes for someone to buy a product, the brand comes straight to mind.
When people see your brand again, this process happens: