the art of memorability

This is a guest post by Stephanie Peterson.

"Memory Harvest" by Sadee Schilling Studio

Would you rather be the best, or be remembered?

Of course these are not mutually exclusive, in fact they often come hand in hand, but just being great at what you do does not guarantee that you will be memorable as well.

In fact, I see creative people all the time who are phenomenally talented, but who struggle to make money from their work. They haven’t figured out how to engage people enough to go from admiring their work, to thinking about it, to deciding to buy. (And then buying again and again.)

Truth is, memorability wins out over skill in commerce.

What’s most frustrating of all is the conventional advice that’s continually passed around doesn’t present any clear action to follow.

“Be different!” “Stand out from the crowd!” What does that mean? I could wear a hat with flashing lights on it, give my business some bizarro name, and only design using the color pink, but these are not likely to do me much good.

That’s why I decided to break this concept down.

So what specific things DO make a business memorable?

1. A unique selling proposition (Or, USP)
Your unique selling proposition is the answer to, “Why should I choose you over another designer?” or, “Why should I buy your product over someone else’s?” It’s the “spin” on your business that sets you apart.

Maybe you offer something that no one similar to you does. For instance, a luxury gift wrap service that’s featured on your site with clear images of exactly what the wrap-job options look like.

Maybe you combine your work with a cause or belief that you feel strongly about. For instance, you make faux leather purses and donate a percentage of each sale to help mistreated animals.

Maybe you have an electric personal brand, and you are extremely open about your everyday experiences. In this case, people may want to buy from you just because they feel connected, like they can reach out to you if they want, like you’re their friend, and they want to support you.

2. Easy peasy describability
Can you sum up your business (including your USP) in one single sentence? Is this sentence plastered all over your website, Twitter profile, Facebook about section?

If the quality that makes your business unique and worthwhile is hard to explain, people are less likely to talk about it.

Feed them the words!

3. Consistency
Does your business have a distinct look/feel? The more people see you, the more they remember you… unless every time they see you, you look completely different.

If you are constantly changing up the look of your website, your color scheme, your web copy, etc., you’re not giving people the opportunity to really get to know and become comfortable with your brand.

4. Contact
If you don’t have an e-mail list or social media profiles, if you have no way of reaching out and re-connecting with people who’ve shown interest in you, you will probably be forgotten.

This is not to say TOTALLY forgotten. In fact, they may wrack their brains thinking, “What was the name of that business with the faux leather bags who gave a percentage of each sale to charity?” I’ve been there on more than one occasion.

Whereas, if you are in touch regularly, you aren’t likely to have this problem.

I hope you will put these principles into action today to make sure your business “sticks.” If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

– – –

Stephanie Peterson is the founder of Fairground Media, where she helps passionate entrepreneurs sell better through intentional e-commerce web design and ethical sales strategy. Her debut product offering, Love Potion:
Creating Wild Customer Attraction + Loyalty
, is a fun, interactive e-book filled with branding and sales psychology wisdom and includes a supporting online mastermind community for continual feedback and support.

4 thoughts on “the art of memorability

  1. Stephanie/Carrie,
    This is a wonderful post that really breaks down the “be different” concept into user-friendly ideas. I find that often the most beautiful, talented work is neglected because the artist doesn’t know how to connect with their audience (meaning the memorability isn’t created).
    I know the feeling of “that was brilliant, I must get/buy/see it, but where was it?” By being hard to find both parties are left disappointed. The artist because their work isn’t shared/bought and the audience/potential client because they want the enjoyment and to support the artist.
    Thanks for simplifying this concept for your readers!
    Cheers, Caylie

  2. Stephanie, your e-book sounds super! It brought a smile to my face and encouragement to my heart to see my wild little typewriter art at the top of your post :)–such a great image to connect to your ideas here, especially this: “Maybe you have an electric personal brand, and you are extremely open about your everyday experiences…” I’m working on creating a brand like this myself–sharing my heart and being very open about the trials and joys of my creative life comes fairly easily; the “business” side of it is definitely more of a labor.

    I love seeing posts like this that break down the process into a simple list that is easy to tackle a little bit at a time. I’m always telling myself, “one step at a time, reaching one person at a time.”

    Thank you!

  3. Glad you liked it, Sadee! Your typewriter is so much fun! Really beautiful work. Also I love your “one step/person at a time” mantra.

    It’s a lot easier, when you’re thinking about just one person at a time, to consider what really gets someone interested in a store/product. It’s way too easy for business owners to think of “customers” as some big, faceless unit up in the ether! Much better to remember that each is just a human being like you with thoughts, feelings, and predispositions. :)

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