In the beginning of 2012, Jon Simons and his colleagues performed one of the largest research studies that has ever been conducted. It spanned 147 countries and included more than 27,000 participants of various ages.
In the study, individuals were shown pairs of words like CUPCAKE and CARDBOARD. Later, they were shown a new but similar word like CUPBOARD and a new dissimilar word like SAWDUST. About 71 percent of the time, individuals would state correctly they had not seen the third and unrelated word before. Only 53 percent of the time would they state correctly they had not seen the third and similar word.
So here is a leap, if your product is similar to a competitor and not that unique or innovative, only half your audience will notice it.
A lot of stuff happens in our lifetimes, and so it makes sense that our brains would have evolved some efficient memory strategies. We don’t try to remember every single event in its entirety. Instead, we store the elements of an event, and put them together in different ways to make different memories. The downside is that similar events that share a number of features may be more difficult to remember.
The conclusion is something that marketers and researchers should know… there is no database that gets accessed to recall exactly what was heard, observed or thought of at a specific point of time. My next post will elaborate more on memory and experiences.
If you want to better understand how to separate inaccurate memory recall from actual memory recall, you should contact us.