It is common to talk about where we were or what we were doing when we heard news of a major event. Most people working today recall with vivid detail the morning of 9/11 2001. In the 1970’s, Harvard professors Roger Brown and James Kulik called memories like this flashbulb memories. They argued that important traumatic events are stored in a complete and vivid way that captures the context, the event, and the emotional reaction to it.
Fortunately, it is rare to experience an event that leaves a flashbulb memory. But some of the experiences we have do end up stored in our long-term memory to be retrieved later and some evaporate before they get a chance. Brands are no exception. Branding is about recognizability and making sure that the positive experiences we have with them leave a lasting impression. These are recalled later when we have a need or want they can fulfill. Branding and memory are in collusion.