Why Are Certain Businesses Memorable And Others Aren’t?

employee fairAfter attending the Adtech conference and expo last week in San Francisco, I began asking myself: “Why are certain business memorable and others aren’t?”

I’d spent over 5 hours on the expo floor, talking to representatives from all these businesses. But only about 5% of these businesses actually made a good enough impression to be memorable. The other 95% I couldn’t care less about.

The same phenomenon occurs with consumers.

Consumers Don’t Care About 95% of Businesses

So, “What is it that makes certain businesses so memorable?”

I first thought it depended on how relevant the product is to a consumer. For instance, it’d make sense that a consumer looking for a camera will more likely remember a camera retailer. But this doesn’t matter. When I walk through New York City with my little sister, she is usually looking for a souvenir. In New York City, there are thousands of souvenir shops. I visit many, but I only remember one or two, and they aren’t always the ones we buy from.

Could it be gimmicks? At the conference, many businesses had gimmicks. One booth was giving out free beer, one had all their salespeople wearing yellow capes, and one had gorgeous models walking around in high heels. You see this a lot in small  businesses as well. The car dealership who has huge balloons everywhere, or the sandwich shop who hired a street performer to spin a sign pointing to the store. These gimmicks definitely catch my attention, but I rarely remember what the name of the store is.

So what makes specific businesses memorable?

Are The Employees Human?

At the Adtech expo, most of the businesses had representatives who used a rehearsed speech when introducing themselves and telling me about their companies. In fact, I noticed these peoples’ eyes glaze over as they were remembering the lines to their prepared script. They didn’t care about me or who I was. Their point at the conference was to recite lines.

Contrast this with the memorable businesses. Their representatives would greet me with a genuine smile and instantly begin asking me about myself: “How’s your day? Have you found any interesting businesses here? What do you do?” Their eyes didn’t glaze over. They were actually having a real conversation with me. If they thought their product would be useful to my business, they would tell me about it. If not, they didn’t end the conversation like many representatives would. They’d suggest some companies for me to check out.

If You Want a Memorable Business, You Need Human Employees

Think about this for a moment. What local businesses do you remember most? What is the strongest memory? For me, it’s how the employees interacted with me.

What makes a business memorable for you? Leave me a comment below and let me know.


Want to find out more? Visit Chris Brogan’s Human Business Works.

Image Credit: Catawba County