The Hidden Power of Communication
"Truly successful decision making relies on a balance between deliberate and intuitive thinking" -Malcolm Gladwell (Blink)
For some years now psychologists have been coming to recognise that things we experience in life but don't pay much attention to, do in fact leave traces in our memory system. This is referred to as low attention processing and it results in what's called implicit learning.
In fact, the vast majority of brand and product experiences are likely to be seen as fairly insignificant at the time – receiving a letter or monthly statement, seeing an ad that isn't paid attention to, glancing at a logo or piece of display material, or even tossing a product unthinkingly into a supermarket trolley.
The fascinating thing is that these types of brand experiences - the low attention, 'unthinking' ones, are in fact leaving a lasting impression in our implicit memory, even though consumers will probably never remember them happening. The problem is, the implicit memory system where this learning is stored is not part of our conscious mind and its contents cannot be recalled, no matter how hard we try.
The content of our implicit memory gives us intuitive, or 'gut' feelings, which emerge automatically whenever we encounter any situation that requires a behavioural decision - such as buying a product or service.
It's the same process that is the basis of experience - a natural kind of learning that occurs as we go through life and which informs our judgements, but often without our being able to recall the actual basis of that experience.