Effective brands provide a lasting impression. However, loyal is fleeting for most buyers in the absence of a strong brand. Yet, I have purchased the company’s competitors in some cases, even with these good memories. Solomon points out that individuals’ knowledge about the world constantly updates as they are exposed to new stimuli.
Individuals can continue to receive ongoing feedback that allows them to modify their behavior when they find themselves in similar situations later. Therefore, we use our past experience as a baseline for making new purchasing decisions. Consequently, businesses need to understand how the principle of working memory and long-term memory influence learning consumer behavior.
The principle of working memory and long-term memory apply greatly to learning consumer behavior. Marketing successfully for most businesses depends on the consumer’s recognition of their products and services. Michael Solomon, author of Consumer Behavior, maintains that many marketers realize that extensive learned connections between products and memories are a potential way to build and keep brand loyalty.
For example, Arm & Hammer baking soda is one of those long-lasting memories from my childhood in Louisiana. From stopping a bleeding wound to keeping a refrigerator fresh, Arm & Hammer’s products have been associated with multi-purposes.
McDonald’s is another brand to consider for this discussion. An image of the golden arches has a world-wide reputation. For most adults, the memories start in childhood. McDonald’s has done an excellent job of branding, or brainwashing, us as children.
Yet, I think it’s all about classical conditioning. When we see the golden arches, we think about—FUN. Classical conditioning focuses on visual and olfactory cues that induce hunger, thirst, sexual arousal, and other drives. Therefore, it is easy to see why McDonald’s is doing well and serving millions of people from a variety of countries.
Consequently, buying decisions are influenced by these memories. Trust is the anchor. Stephen Covey and Rebecca Merrill, authors of The Speed of Trust, note that low trust slows everything—every decision, every communication, and every relationship.
In fact, we are heavily influenced by our parents and teachers. In addition, our backgrounds influence our purchasing decisions. However, we are not puppets. Businesses that create a lasting image of their brands are in the best competitive advantage.
Please discuss the power of memorable brands from your own professional experience.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green
 The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey and Rebecca Merrill