Care to Become Memorable

Martin Lindstrom is a memory maker. 

For a great illustration of this branding concept, invest in yourself and listen to his On Leadership podcast interview.

His book, buy•ology is a masterpiece, and it’s how I came to know him about 15 years ago.

I was sitting in the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City attending the World Business Forum. In this two-day event, about 16 speakers address many thousands of attendees about timely business and leadership topics. Typically a former U.S. President caps the event preceded by a series of best-selling authors, famous entrepreneurs, Nobel Prize winners, business titans, and the occasional world chess champion or renowned Olympian.

In 15 years of attending this compelling event, I’d never seen one of the speakers barely leave the safety of the podium – let alone come off the stage down into the audience. It’s a fairly buttoned-down event drawing mostly executive-level leaders as participants – although that’s not a requirement.

Martin Lindstrom bounded onto the stage during his opening with uncharacteristic energy (compared to the other speakers). He then unexpectedly delivered much of his presentation with the audience in close proximity to everyone moving from person to person as if he was speaking directly to each of us. Now, this might not seem that compelling to you, but for the setting and culture of this event, it was utterly captivating – so much that I remember it 15 years later. Martin is an expert in neuromarketing, and he knows how to leave an impression, even with his physical presence.

Think about the most memorable product launches you’ve experienced—weddings, parties, or sporting or political events you’ve attended. Which ones come to mind immediately? Why are they instantly more memorable than the sea of sameness shared by the dozens or hundreds of others you’ve attended across your lifetime?

I’ll bet the difference was that someone cared. Cared so much that they took the extra effort to place themselves in your metaphorical seat and decided, deliberately, to make it memorable. Perhaps they rehearsed it (you can count on that). Maybe they video-taped it and fine-tuned it many times over. Likely they kept improving on it with respect to timing, materials, synchronicity, and other small but impactful aspects to improve your experience. To make your experience memorable. Above all the others.

When I served as the CMO of FranklinCovey, I asked myself the following questions before every internal company presentation.

What part of this will stand out from the other dozens of sessions where the well-intended leader drags the audience through their painstakingly designed PowerPoint deck (emphasis on painstakingly)? What will I do, say or create that will make this memorable – forever? Not just another lame presentation that gets viewed as what stands between them and lunch. Or worse – them and the bar.

Shock and Awe. I go big people!

You’ve heard of the phrase, “go big or go home?” Well, I say, “go big or don’t even come!”.

Confetti? Yep. 40,000,000 pieces. (that’s forty million).

A banner? Yep. 3,000 feet in length that wraps around the entire ballroom – such that everyone stands up out of their chairs to hold it while it’s the centerpiece of the presentation.

Food? Yes. But of course, a lavender-infused, warm finger towel dispensed by a butler via tongs and white gloves to clean your hands just before you partake.

Music. You bet. Not your standard pop hits, though. Bring on Kid Rock. Volume Up! Walls pounding and everyone up dancing.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to go big. You just need to deploy your creative skills. Innovate. Come off the stage. 

You just need to care.


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About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Releases, Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights From Our Greatest Minds, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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