Make Memory Creation the Currency of Your Brand

In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

Today’s video is an excerpt from my online course, inspired by my book, Would You Do That To Your Mother? Click here to learn more about the course and enroll. 

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below.

First, they saw one red boot. Was it Superman? Then they got a peek of the tail end of a cape. Spider-Man?Then there they both were, Superman and Spider-Man were both rappelling down the windows in front of them, washing the windows.

Every year, sick kids in children’s hospitals around the world rush from their hospital beds and exam rooms to high-five the superhero window washers, making their way down the building in front of their very eyes. Then these superhero men and women meet with the kids and give them a memory they soon won’t forget.

These everyday people become heroes to these kids because they want to boost the emotions of those kids on the other side of their window. Each of those window washers gets an emotional return on investment in delivering memories to those sick kids. Here’s what they say:

“It’s one thing I look forward to doing all year.”

“It kind of takes their minds off what they’re really there for.”

“They come running up to the glass.”

“They’re just excited to see you.”

All the guys had tears of joy in their eyes behind the costumes. It was very touching and overwhelming how excited the children were. In giving of themselves, they receive.

When You Make Memories, The Reward Is Great

This is the same emotional high that employees and organizations receive when they are enabled and nurtured to do the same, to be memory creators. The emotional response we have to delivering a positive memory for someone becomes our reward for putting ourselves in the path of giving someone joy or relief or caring, and it is addictive. Make memory creation the currency of your brand.

When we are put in situations and encouraged to think of someone else’s emotions and take action to turn it around for them, this lifts us up, and the result is that memory maker’s reward is great if not greater than the receiver’s. This is a deliberate choice that Make-Mom-Proud companies make, not achieved through a memo or a crystal ball with the words “be a memory maker” etched on to it. This is a company-wide commitment to resources and to people.

The Ritz-Carlton, for example, considers each of their 40,000 employees to be memory makers. I consider professor and Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman to be the memory guru. His writing and research have clarified for us the importance of memory and why it elevates companies and their people when they embrace memory creation as pivotal. People don’t choose between experiences, he simplified for all of us, they choose between memories.

Craft Memories Intentionally

The key here is that good companies think about the experiences they want to deliver, but the beloved, the Make-Mom-Proud companies work, craft, and deliver memories that customers remember and yearn for and go back to. They go out of their way to understand where their customers are emotionally, and then they meet them there with the experience they deliver, and they give employees the education, the accountability, and the ability to act on those feelings.

This starts, of course, with hiring employees who are empathetic and can identify emotional moments, but the choice to deliver a memory rests often with the employee in that moment with a customer.

Make Good Memories Out of Small Moments Too

Now, before you think I’m talking about memory creation for only the over-the-top wow moment gestures to be delivered, please let me clarify. Memory creation has just as great an impact in those less-than-wonderful experiences when the emotion of the customer are considered and handled with kid gloves to deliver a positive versus a negative moment in the memory.

Do you deliver memories you’d want your mom to have? For example, consider the emotionally-charged memory that an insurance company customer has when he or she are told, unfortunately, that their claim has been denied. There are two memories that the customer can walk away from in this situation.

Memory one: “That was painful. They denied my claim, and they don’t care about me.”

Memory two: “That was sure disappointing, but they took the time to let me know why. I’m not glad about the outcome, but I feel taken care of, and I feel honored as a customer.”

Memory two took someone deliberately starting with the customer and their emotions and how they’re feeling in this situation, and they took the time to turn around the emotions of that claim being turned down. Now, while the outcome for the customer is the same in both, memory two leaves the customer with a positive memory about the company and its people. Most important, the impact of creating a company of memory makers is truly a joyful endeavor when the work of the company is elevated to not executing those processes but memories.

When you deliberately architect those memories and give employees a role, an active role in delivering them, people’s pride is connected with their work, and Mom, well, of course, you know she’s proud of you as well.

Ask yourself: how deliberate are we in becoming a memory creation company?

The key here is that good companies think about the experiences they want to deliver, but beloved, #MakeMomProud companies craft and deliver memories that customers remember and and go back to. Share on X


How do we cut through the rigmarole of business to give customers the treatment they desire, and employees the ability to deliver it?

In her latest book, customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss recommends making business personal to get the traction you need by focusing on one deceptively simple question: “Would you do that to your mother?”

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