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Imagine your brand is a person… Brand's best friend is Consumer. Brand and Consumer have shared many wonderful experiences together. Some are real, based on activities they've engaged in over the years, but most are virtual—sharing meaningful moments watching TV together or through videos and messages streamed to mobile devices.

After a brief pause in the relationship, they run into one another again, but something is different. Consumer seems forgetful of things they've shared in the past... Stories and jokes fall flat because familiar reference points have been forgotten. At times, Consumer even seems to struggle to remember Brand's name.

After further discussion, Consumer reveals that she has suffered a concussion and lost most of her memory. Brand is in trouble! The highly valued relationship between Brand and Consumer is almost completely lost…

What Does That Have to Do With Advertising?

Marketers invest a lot of time and money trying to find creative ideas that will break through clutter and engage the attention of the consumer. In the digital age, this important attention-getting activity is frequently described as "feeding the top of the sales funnel."

But as marketers, we should never forget that what lies at the bottom of the funnel, from a business standpoint, is not just sales—it's the brand, and everything that it stands for.

Making Memories—and Keeping Them

As our opening story illustrates, a brand should be thought of as a complex set of memories built up over time. If the memories are lost, the brand is lost. Or more importantly, if new advertising fails to leave memories linked to the brand, advertising is ineffective.

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image of Charles Young

Charles Young is CEO and founder at Ameritest, a provider of brand strategy and communication testing.

LinkedIn: Charles Young