Words + Music = Weird Memory Magic

| November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Alessi Brothers O Lori single coverIf you’re anything like most of us it takes a lot of effort to learn something off by heart, whether it’s a short poem, endless Viking saga, O’Level subject or an entire further education course. 

Learning by rote is almost always hard work. On the other hand you’ll probably be able to sing the lyrics from more or less any chart song you’ve ever heard. They’re just there, in your head, ready whenever you need them.

How weird is that?

If only marketing communications worked this well…

It works even when you’ve only heard a song a couple of times and even works for tunes written way before you were born, which might have been on the radio a few times in passing but never on your everyday radar.

It goes further. I assume I’m not the only person who also hears the music in remarkable detail inside my head? I know the harmonies, the choruses and breakdowns, solos, instrumental bits, the part every instrument plays and even those hugely suspenseful House Music pauses where absolutely nothing happens, just bars of silence.

I’ve got the lot down pat, so crystal clear it’s like having a live band performing in my head. I can do it for literally hundreds of tunes, if not thousands. And it takes no effort whatsoever.

Take Alessi. Their chart song ‘Oh Lori’ hit the British charts in 1979, flared brightly for a while then died back down. I hadn’t heard it for decades. But when it was played on Brighton Pier radio a couple of Saturdays ago my little brother and I looked at one another, grinned and sang along with the whole thing from start to finish. WTF?

I wish it was that easy to stuff ordinary information into our recalcitrant brains. But it isn’t. If it was possible to create marketing campaigns with the same magical staying power as lyrics and music, our marketing lives would be so much simpler!

All of which brings me on to my next subject, customer service excellence…

Customer service – The thought really does count

Having heard the Alessi Brothers’ song again, complete with all the brilliant teen memories it brought back, I wanted it for my music collection. I found the best value CD on the brothers’ website and ordered a copy direct from them.

It arrived within the week, signed by the artists themselves and embellished with a hand-drawn smiley face… plus a message saying ‘enjoy, Kate’. I was chuffed to bits and wrote a quick email back to say thank you, briefly telling the story of hearing the song on the pier for the first time in decades and loving it all over again. And they emailed me back the next day to say how much they’d enjoyed my story.

All I expected was a CD, but the personal extras that came with it made such a difference to the buying experience. From a marketing perspective it was a low cost, quick ‘n’ dirty and wonderfully human way to deliver  whole lot of extra pleasure. The warm feeling is still with me. You could even call me ‘loyal’ – you wouldn’t be far wrong.

Now that’s what I call customer service. If you can pull something like this off, you stand an excellent chance of evolving your brand into something genuinely special.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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