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Brands can learn

  1. Stop assuming that people spend a lot of time thinking about your brand. They don’t. Many consumers wouldn’t care if brands disappeared from their lives. So, in order to create a lasting impression and connection, experiences need to be easy to understand. Simple. In particular, with uncluttered recognizable visual elements of a brand’s identity. Simplicity makes it easy to remember and increases the likelihood that what people take away and share are clear and consistent.
  1. Remember: humans can be irrational and tend to make decisions emotionally. What people feel about a brand is as important, if not more so, than what they think. So, we must move them. Moving experiences are also relatable. Force your audience to pay attention by demanding an emotional interaction with your experience. Emotions are also tied to memory, so creating work that moves people can add to its impact, memorability and share-ability. Ninety-five percent (95%) of our purchase decisions, according to research by Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, take place unconsciously. And another professor at Harvard Business School, Francesca Gino, who studies emotion, focuses specifically on how simple, seemingly irrelevant, factors can have a significant impact on the choices we make every day.
  1. Brands need to challenge themselves and not be afraid to do the “never been done before”. Make it original. While it’s important to take cues from pop culture – make sure to create something that is truly unique. Brands who are willing to do bold things that haven’t been done before tend to get better results, particularly when the objective is to create awareness, engagement and earned media. On the contrary though, brands that don’t embrace originality end up as “plain vanilla” – and I don’t mean the ice cream. When it is original, people are inclined to share it, and that is how we get an Instagram feed full of life-sized desserts.

Together, these three characteristics help ensure that an execution will be memorable. Drawing inspiration from these two recent activations—and beyond is a great starting point.  We don’t need to recreate the yellow ball pit but we should challenge ourselves to create experiences that are equally or more memorable. Because with all of the change in the world, one truth remains constant: while the experience itself may be short lived, it brings a story to life and it’s the stories we live to tell.

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