We think of memories as wistful nostalgia – looking back at the past with joy or regret.

In fact, memories exist to help us make decisions. And by understanding how they do it, marketers can gain a powerful competitive edge.

In this feature we explore the world of affective memories, which can be brought powerfully and rapidly to mind by triggers relating to parts of our past, and which can exert huge influence over our actions in the present. And we reveal how brands and enlist the power of these memories to build, reinforce and change the experiences and emotions we associate with them:

  • How memories form in the brain – and how the brain rapidly reconstructs them when the occasion demands
  • How memories triumph over present experience (or how cheap plonk can taste better than fine wine)
  • How brands that understand affective memories can retain greater control of their brand narrative in consumers’ minds
  • Why Jennifer Aniston has a neuron named after her – and what it means for marketing
  • How present day experience can rewrite our memories – to brands’ advantage or disadvantage.
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