The Power of Creating Memories

08/15/2006

Nantasket_beach Left Hot'lanta last Thursday for Mass (that's Massachusetts) and spent the weekend by the sea by the sea the beautiful sea at Nantasket Beach in Hull visiting family. <Hi Kaye, Nealie, Sammie, Jessica, Scott, David, Larry, Polli, Christine and Deb.> It only took one hour and forty-seven minutes to check luggage and go through increased security. Made it to the AirTran gate with a full 6 minutes to spare.

Where a charming keeper of the gate graciously (not) informed me and four other passengers that the plane had 'closed.' How could it be 'closed' we sweetly (not) asked when the plane was was still at the gate with 6 minutes to take off? She sort of shrugged, turned with her paper work and walked on-board to give it to the flight crew. Closing the door behind her. Needless to say, there were five very frustrated passengers left standing.

I don't know went what on behind closed doors but several minutes later those sacred doors opened and she ushered us on to the plane. The pilot even walked up the gateway to greet us. Nice touch. So what did happen? Did the keeper of the gate come to our rescue? Did the pilot realize happy customers were more important than a slight delay and fall in take off stats?

Sidebar: You might recall that Thursday August 10 was the day that Scotland Yard thwarted a terrorist plan to blow planes sky high. To ensure air travel safety no liquids are allowed in carry-ones. That means if you have toothpaste or contact solution or hair gel your bag gets checked. That means adding at least 30-minutes to your airport time. Major bummer!

Sidebar: This may seem like a side-step but it does all synergize. Promise.
Marketing Management July/August 2006 includes an interesting article by Lawrence Crosby and Sheree Johnson of Synovate Loyalty. Crosby and Johnson spin the tired customer experience rant into a concept/strategy of building customer memories. It's a subtle change of direction that lends itself to a different way of looking at customer touch points that reinforce your brand promise. They suggest the following multiple dimensions be considered:

  • duration - initiation, immersion, conclusion, continuation
  • intensity - reflex, habit, engagement
  • breadth - products, services, brands, channels, price
  • interaction - passive, active, interactive
  • triggers - all human senses, concepts, symbols
  • significance - meaning, status, emotion, price, function

I took home a scrapbook of memories from my trip to Hull included BBQing dinners with friends and family, walking on the beach with Scott, watching seniors line dancing to country western music - what a hoot that was!, discovering a Johnny_cupcakes_whale cool new designer - Johnny Cupcakes, making a MySpace page for Kaye with Jess, Neals and Sam, sipping Margaritas on the deck of the Red Parrot while watching the sunset over the ocean and a special diva chick day with Kaye and Polli.

Memories also include feelings of frustration that I almost missed my AirTran flight; and yes, the relief when I was finally allowed to board. I'd have a different memory to add to my scrapbook if the customer rep had said, "I'll try to get you on. I understand that there were circumstances outside of your control this morning." Even if she couldn't I would have appreciated her kindness. That would have been my memory of AirTran .. the kindness and understanding of their people.

Think about it ..  What do you want your customers to put into their memory scrapbook of your brand? Memories don't have to be "big." Sometimes the small ones that touch the heart remain the longest.  How can you create those memories that go beyond a forgotten experience? Hmm .. could be an interesting promotion - create a scrapbook of your memories of xyz brand.

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine,
Memories, memories, sweet memories

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Comments

As the Polli of the above documented post, let me just say we here in Ma were the lucky ones to have THE diva here for a visit! I don't fly as often as I used to but a young man near and dear to my heart flies often from Boston to Viginia.After security searches each and every time he flew(and as a 6'4"white blond college student he sooo obviously fits a terrorist profile!)he will only book with JetBlue and has told all his frat bros and fellow students....now they all travel in a pack to catch convenient and comfortable rides-and the price is easily comparable....sorry Airtran!!

Posted by: POLLI on Aug 17, 2006 8:20:26 PM

Very nice post. I liked your writing style and the way you covered the topic.

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