Episodic and Semantic Reminiscence: Which to Prioritize?


In our earlier weblog, we lined the fundamentals of how recollections are saved within the mind long-term. To take it one step deeper, there are totally different sorts of long-term recollections. Understanding the variations between them is necessary for entrepreneurs who need to nail their messaging and elicit the specified shopper behaviour.

Episodic and Semantic Reminiscence

Aware, long-term recollections might be divided into two classes: episodic and semantic. Episodic recollections are recollections from our life occasions and experiences. They’re involved with when and the place an occasion occurred, and the way it pertains to us. Semantic recollections are the factual and conceptual information we’ve in regards to the world.

For example, asking customers a few particular clothes model may elicit totally different responses. Some customers may say that they bear in mind their pal carrying a selected model at a celebration and the way impressed they have been with how that pal appeared. That’s episodic reminiscence. Different customers may touch upon how they know the model has moral manufacturing processes and high-quality cloth. That’s semantic reminiscence.

Why Do Entrepreneurs Have to Know This?

A 2017 examine wished to grasp the implications of those two sorts of reminiscence for advertising and marketing. To do that, the researchers in contrast individuals who had used or owned a selected model earlier than to individuals who hadn’t and requested them to finish a collection of duties that might confirm how properly they bear in mind the model, what they bear in mind about it and their notion of the model. The examine uncovered numerous attention-grabbing findings.

It turned clear that, even when somebody isn’t a consumer of a model, they will nonetheless have episodic recollections of it by way of second-hand experiences. For instance, if they’ve a pal who has used that model and spoken to them about it. Phrase of mouth can form somebody’s episodic recollections of a model – even when they haven’t personally interacted with it. That is necessary for entrepreneurs to contemplate: it’s why model opinions and testimonials are an efficient advertising and marketing instrument, as is utilizing influencers to advertise the model utilizing their private experiences with it.

The examine additionally discovered that semantic recollections considerably predict customers’ perceived high quality of the model, whereas episodic recollections predict customers’ constructive emotional response in the direction of the model (i.e. model have an effect on). In layman’s phrases: figuring out extra details and statistics in regards to the model made folks really feel prefer it was of a better high quality, whereas having extra private experiences related to the model had a constructive impact on folks’s feelings in the direction of it.

What does this appear like for entrepreneurs?

In case your model is concentrated on being seen as top quality and well worth the worth, your advertising and marketing ought to characteristic semantics – details and distinctive promoting propositions (USPs.) For those who’re simply in search of an general constructive have an effect on in the direction of your model, create episodic recollections of it on your prospects. Ideally your advertising and marketing communications needs to be doing each, as research have proven that each rational and emotional messaging improves buy intention – however usually extra centered, single-minded messaging that hones in on both establishing semantic or episodic recollections might be simpler, particularly when advertising and marketing sources are restricted.

Semantic recollections are after all simpler for entrepreneurs to regulate with conventional advertising and marketing strategies: details and USPs are easy to speak. It’s a lot tougher to create episodic recollections, that are subjective and infrequently extremely particular person experiences primarily based on an enormous variety of elements. A method of making each episodic and semantic recollections for a model is to create alternatives the place customers grow to be lively companions in forming and disseminating model information. This might imply user-generated content material, the place you have interaction together with your prospects by way of encouraging them to create thrilling and attention-grabbing content material about your model, or experiential advertising and marketing, the place you create an entire new private expertise for patrons quite than following extra conventional mass-broadcast promoting avenues. For those who’re undecided what these appear like, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite examples under:

For user-generated content material, Starbucks let their prospects take the wheel for his or her well-known cup designs. In 2014, Starbucks inspired their prospects to doodle on their takeaway cups and share the outcomes underneath the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The winners could be used for restricted version cup designs in Starbucks shops throughout the globe. This competitors allowed prospects to take part in constructing the model and creating recollections with it that transcend mere expertise. It additionally created second-hand episodic recollections as individuals who don’t work together with the model straight however nonetheless respect attention-grabbing artwork may take a look at the competitors on social media and choose their favourites.

Equally, Adobe began an Artwork Maker Collection the place they requested designers to share the work they created utilizing adobe merchandise. This resulted in a variety of tremendous attention-grabbing designs with which they have been in a position to showcase their merchandise’ capabilities. Adobe merchandise might be fairly costly, so it was vital for potential prospects to view them as worthwhile and have constructive model experiences, whereas Adobe additionally confirmed their appreciation for present prospects. By way of user-generated content material, Adobe was in a position to create constructive episodic recollections for each potential and present prospects.

Experiential advertising and marketing, by nature of often being in-person, lets you be particular with the shoppers and viewers you might be concentrating on, in addition to the emotion you’re attempting to elicit. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply it’s important to suppose small.

Crimson Bull, which has constructed its model round excessive sports activities and pushing the boundaries, was in a position to create episodic recollections in over 3 million people by broadcasting the highest parachute bounce on the earth. In 2012, skilled Skydiver Felix Baumgartner launched into the stratosphere to leap to earth from an altitude of 128 000 ft. This is among the biggest sporting stunts in world historical past – one which many viewers will always remember watching – and it’s firmly related to the Crimson Bull model.

On a smaller, extra intimate scale, Delta used experiential advertising and marketing to elicit a really specific emotion of their prospects: calmness. Delta knew that lots of their prospects have been harassed or rushed and so they wished to place their model as a spot for calm and tranquility. At a 2015 TED convention, Delta gave attendees an orb. Upon getting into the designated Delta space, folks may place their orb on a pedestal in entrance of their seat, put their fingers on biometric sensors, and watch the orb change color in keeping with their coronary heart price. They have been inspired to decelerate, calm down, and decrease their coronary heart price to vary the color of the orb. This was a soothing expertise for attendees, who have been inspired to maintain the orb with a view to bear in mind to decelerate when feeling in a rush.

With this extremely private expertise, Delta not solely created constructive episodic recollections with their model, however they have been intentional about associating a selected emotion with their model, which additionally created constructive emotional have an effect on.

Whereas reminiscence is only a piece of the puzzle on the subject of efficient advertising and marketing, figuring out extra about it might probably assist entrepreneurs achieve a deeper understanding of their area. Experiential advertising and marketing can usually appear to be an costly gimmick, and it might probably simply grow to be that when you don’t perceive precisely why you’re doing it: to create lasting episodic, emotional recollections of your model. Understanding what you’re attempting to perform when it comes to reminiscence can even inform the sort of data you collect to tell your technique.

With experiential or extra conventional advertising and marketing, it may be tough to know when you’re eliciting the proper feelings in your prospects. With neuromarketing know-how, you might be extra certain. Facial coding know-how can learn the micro-expressions of consumers as they expertise a contact level of your model, and report again on each second of that have. This lets you optimise your advertising and marketing to create the absolute best emotional expertise on your prospects.

If, after studying this text you’re questioning how one can capitalise on episodic reminiscence to create the largest affect attainable, this is a good possibility so that you can discover.


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