Your Memory Hook


Memory Hooks are used by every major and minor company in the world to reinforce their brand identity. We all know who says, ‘just do it’, we all know what product is ‘the real thing’.
‘If you want a mobile phone – just ask’
ASK Mobile Phones, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

At in networking meetings Memory Hooks are used to end most people’s presentations. They are short, succinct phrases that are your tag line, allowing people to remember you. They should be used consistently to have the greatest impact.

‘For peace of mind, be sure, be Real Sure' Real Sure Home Inspectors, Hamilton, New Zealand

Some Memory Hooks are funny, some are not, some rhyme, some do not, some are serious, some are long, some are short, so which one is right for you? That is easy, the one that is right for you is the one that is right for you!

Like everything in life, your Memory Hook is your own personal choice. It may be that there is a phrase or advert tag line you have already created and are using but if not, you need to invest some time, and write one.

‘For a spark, call Clarke’ Clarke Electrical, Shrewsbury
So how do you go about writing a Memory Hook?

Start by listening at your meeting and getting to know the other members hooks. Like learning to write music, if you understand how others have done it you have a better chance. Take a sheet of paper and write down words and short phrases that sum up your business or products quickly. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Once you have filled a couple of pages, and believe me you will even if right now you don’t think you can, then read them out loud and start to think of ways you can express some of these ideas coherently.

‘You won’t get far without your car’
Arnel Automotive, Hamilton

As you do this exercise you will start to develop a pattern. After about an hour of work, you should be able to select the five phrases that you like the best.

If you want to bring in other people, other members of your staff to help. The next thing you do is ask some other people what they think of your potential Memory Hooks. They could be friends and family, or, ask the people who are best qualified, these are the people who listen to Memory Hooks week in week out, your fellow Chapter members. They will give you feedback and probably even make suggestions to improve the phrase you eventually use. You might even trial some in your meetings to gauge reaction.

If you did four you could run them for a month and then at the end of the month a fifth 60 second presentation could be a game show to help you choose the one to use. This will help the members to remember it and give them a bit of engagement with the process.

Once you have refined your Memory Hook you need to really “own’ it. I have seen people who have developed a great Memory Hook, only to deliver it with a weak unsure voice, it sounds awful. They lose confidence in it and then never use it again. You need to deliver the Memory Hook with confidence, pride, and feeling, like you truly believe it.

‘More than numbers'
Kathy Buchanan Accountant, Hamilton

I am not going to tell you how to write your Memory Hook using a formula, it is totally up to you, but one thing you should avoid is copying well-known companies Memory Hook and just change a few words. This is both unimaginative and unprofessional, and after all, you are trying to express the essence of your company not ride on the shirt tails of another.

This also goes for copying and changing a Memory Hook from someone in your own Chapter. This makes you look stupid and confuses the membership. This happened in a Chapter I was in and it became a situation which required the Membership Committee to step in and resolve. You should also try to avoid being offensive or insulting other brands by name, not that you can’t say you are better than the rest, but if you name the rest you need to be very careful as you might have to prove it.

‘The beauticians of construction’
Hands On Decorating, Hamilton, New Zealand

Once you start using a Memory Hook, you need to use it constantly. Every week, week in, week out. It is essential that you do this so your fellow members can learn it and build a mental association with you, and it. But don’t be afraid to change if you think of a better one. Memory Hooks evolve, words change, the emphasis of how you say it changes.

My own Memory Hook for my web design business is ‘The local company making the net work’. I have used this for over 10 years, yet I have been in networking groups for over 17 years. I cannot really remember all the others I have used, but they included ‘Think global, act local’, ‘Making the network work’, ‘websites, that work’, all of which at the time seemed okay, but eventually it evolved into its final form.

It is a handy phrase, as sometimes, I re-word it to suit the one minute presentation. For example, if I have been talking about video on websites, it will change to ‘the local Company making the net move’. This slight change, helps the members to remember a little bit better, but I don’t change it every week, or the message it delivers will be lost.

‘We have the power’
E4 Electrical, Hamilton

Your Memory Hook is a very powerful message that if used consistently, with feeling, will help your fellow members to recall what you do and how well you do it, not just because of what it contains, but also the things about you it allows them to remember, that is why it is called a Memory Hook.

‘Don’t go mental over your rental’
Brian Hancock (RIP), Quinovic Property Management, Hamilton

The Memory Hooks between the paragraphs are from members who have been in the groups I have belonged to. They are well formed and are examples of good Memory Hooks, in my opinion.

Trademarks of Coca Cola® and Nike® are recognised and acknowledged.