Why is so important to remember?

Remembering is essential for our living. Can you imagine having to learn to walk every single day? 
Can you picture yourself forgetting where the bathroom at your place is every time you woke up?

There is still so much to learn in this field but we are going to describe some approaches and important facts on Memory and Learning for business and marketers.

Just to introduce you with a smile into the memory issues, some funny facts of 50 First Dates,

Types of memory

In order to start this post I wouold like to show a brief chart that include the different types of the memories and the duration of them.

Within the Long-term memory we can find a very important distinction:

  • Declarative: is in charge of remembering facts or events.
  • Non-Declarative: works in a deeper awareness level. It is retrieved without conscious or control. For example: riding a bike or reading this post.

The most important conclusion I want to take from the previous distinction is the importance of the non-conscious memory. It drives almost all our behavior, and altought it is still a lot to learn, most researchers are working on it. Because once we can understand what people really like, (in this case, related to memory, as we will see in the next paragraph in the Coca-Cola vs Pepsi Experiment) we will be able to deliver it rising the value for the consumer and embracing our brands above the competition.

How to measure in a pretty simple way?

We can ask people how they remember a brand or even how they believe they know it.

  • TOM: Top Of Mind, it ranks the brands in the order from the most known to the least. There are lots of variants in this method, but essentially they answer the question, “do you know this brand?"
  • Subjective Knowledge: This measure allows the researcher or marketer to understand how the consumer believes to understand or know the brand.
  • Association: It approaches to the question, “Do you feel our brand to be Positive or Negative?”

NeuroMarketing approach using fMRI

There is an interesting research provided by Sam McCloy on how memory and past experience affects preference.

Coca-Cola vs Pepsi Experiment

The experiment consist in two parts. First a blind test and then another one where the consumer know the brand he is drinking.
Blind test had no strong results (besides people often think they can differentiate Coca-Cola and Pepsi), but when people knew they were drinking Coca-Cola most of them actually prefered it.

As we can see, there is change on preference just by knowing what are we drinking, and according to the study it is related to the remembering of past experience where having a Coke was more rewarding (thank you very much for messing with my mind Coca-Cola Marketing Team… ).

To state all this Neuromarketing hipothesis, we can see in the fMRI results the difference between the blind test and the Coca-Cola test.

The main conclusions were that during the blind test people feel more appealing the Pepsi due to the activation in the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex, that is actually a “reward center” area.
But when the consumer knew what he was drinking, the activation area change. Only when the consumer drink Coke, the scan showed strong activation in the Hippocampus and in the DLPF which are "center for memory and emotions". So besides people actually liked Pepsi, they were more inclined to chose Coke based on the memory of past experience and emotional connections.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read.
Hope you enjoy!


Neural Correlates of Behavioral Preference for Culturally Familiar Drinks, Sam McClure(2004)
An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing, Thomas Zoega Ramsoy(2014)