Top 4 Neuromarketing Tips: How To Be Remembered

Damian Pandolfo

Damian Pandolfo

Product Manager

In this blog, we’ll dive into the neuromarketing world by discussing how to trigger attention and memory, two pivotal entities to consider when designing your marketing strategy. We'll explain their relationship and provide our top 4 neuromarketing tips on how you and your brand can be remembered, elevating your marketing endeavors to the next level.

The attention economy

Attention, it’s currently a very hot topic, the consensus is that we now live in an attention economy because the competition for attention has never been more intense than now. Our attention is motivated by interests and entertainment. In a previous blogpost, we extensively covered attention and its different types, so if you missed it we highly recommend reading it.

Why are we interested in memory?

Ad testing shows significant advantages for brands that trigger the memory of consumers. The benefits and thus why we should fixate on memory is twofold: 

1. We don’t know what we don’t remember

To achieve a behavioral change in consumers, they need to remember the brand or product. A consumer can’t buy something he doesn’t know.

2. Memory influences future behavior

We use the same brain area for remembering the past when imagining the future. From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of memory is not only to store information but to guide our future behavior. We use our vital experiences and lessons from the past to do better in the future. So for a brand to be successful in the future, it needs to be present in the present-day memory of consumers.

Does attention impact memory?

It actually turns out there is a significant link between attention and memory. Generally, a high amount of attention is associated with memory retention. However, it is not decisive. A lot more components determine long-term memory storage, including emotional impact, relatability, and repetition of the information. 

Furthermore, exceptions such as the mere exposure effect exist. We covered this briefly in a previous blogpost. It describes how exposure without a high degree of attention can lead to building trust. Big brands will spend a fortune on expensive advertising banners at sports events, even though the primary focus of viewers is on the game, not the banners.

Yep, our memory is complicated. Luckily there are a couple things you can do to ensure you trigger memory retention.

How to trigger our Memory 

Based on neuroscientific research we’ve conducted over the last few years, here are our top 4 neuromarketing principles that will activate the memory of your audience:

1. Subtleness

Recognition of ads is done by the frontal cortex of the brain, this part is responsible for our autonomy. If it identifies an ad, it will throw up barriers to communicate that the information can’t be trusted fully.

However, if the branding is subtle and part of the story, it can slip under the radar and avoid the barriers. We humans are social and respond well to stories. Therefore, if the brand message seamlessly integrates into the narrative, it has a chance of success.


2. Identifying Peaks

When looking at creative content, we can trace what’s going into the memory of the brain and identify the peaks in this retention. The peaks are the hooks the brain uses to store the entire memory sequence. These peaks can be defined as iconic triggers, you want to identify and integrate these iconic triggers throughout all your consumer touchpoints.  

3. Identifying Segments

Small details can have an immense effect on the effectiveness of an ad. The brain stores experiences in chunks; every event is a separate segment. When the brain decides the end of an event, it starts packaging and processing; during this process, it can’t store new information. So when the information you want to communicate is not part of that event, it will be lost. 

4. Story vs. Brand 

The degree of memory encoding from the story compared to the brand has significant consequences. There are four different outcomes, but as a general rule, the brand has to be noticed. In some cases, when the brand isn’t noticeable, it could be counterproductive. Check the table below for the possibilities.

  1. The highest effectiveness, both story and brand will be remembered.
  2. Only increases the brand by familiarity. 
  3. Consumers will not remember anything. 
  4. The worst case scenario because the benefit of the story could go to a competitor. Consumers will not remember which brand appeared. 

Avoid helping your competitors

To further elaborate on outcome four, let’s cover some examples. Bank Alpha noticed an increase in business when its competitor, bank Bravo, was running advertising campaigns. They decided to conduct neuromarketing ad testing, and the results showed the memory encoding of the story was very high, but it dropped significantly when the brand came into view. 

Additionally, the features and words used in the advertising were similar to the identity of bank Alpha, so customers started linking the advertising of bank Bravo to bank Alpha. A real nightmare scenario. 

Another case was described by our neuroscientist Ingrid Niewenhuis. She wrote an interesting article about a legendary commercial from the beer brand Heineken. It analyzes and explains how she remembered the commercial very well but thought it was made by Bavaria and not Heineken, a classic example of good storytelling but poor branding.

Interestingly, Heineken released a new version of the commercial when corona lockdowns were lifted. This new version avoids their previous mistakes; check out Ingrid's article to find out exactly how they improved. 


So the moral of the story is that we should always avoid the combination of low brand encoding with high story encoding. We aim to increase our own business and not the competition.

Small details can have a tremendous impact on the overall performance of your campaigns. So make sure you trigger your audience's memory with the neuromarketing 4 principles mentioned above and always give your brand enough exposure so it can be remembered. 


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