Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

It's not just a ploy to sell more shampoo, or laundry soap.

There really is a benefit to repetition.

I wrote about it and you can click here to read it.

Skip at MapleCreative adds a holiday slant to the subject:

The Twelve Days of Christmas - a Case Study in Repetition

Because things have been a little crazy-busy around these parts ... and in the spirit of the Christmas season ... here's a repeat of a post worth repeating.

Still not convinced that repetition matters in communication? Okay fine. Here's proof that it does. You know that song, The Twelve Days of Christmas? My neighbor-friend called me to help her family solve a mystery. They could not recall the last several verses of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

So c'mon smartypants ... what was the gift on the eleventh day of Christmas? Don't know do you? What about the gift on the twelfth day of Christmas? It's a blank, isn't it. Hey, at least you are in good company.

Think about the song for a minute. Take it apart.

The lyric about the partridge in a pear tree is repeated 12 times. It's drilled into our brains.
Two turtle doves (repeats 11 times)
Three French hens (repeats 10 times)
Four calling birds (repeats 9 times)
FIVE ......... GOLD ........ RINGS (is repeated in dramatic fashion 8 times)

I can even remember (without cheating)-- six geese a laying; seven swans a swimming. At least I think these are correct, with respect to the actual song lyrics.

Beyond that seventh verse, things get very hazy, very fast in my memory.The reason? Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

Every time I hear or sing (sure, go ahead and cringe now ... plug your ears) The Twelve Days of Christmas several of those verses become etched into my memory banks by way of repetition. The rest of them never make it into my memory because those verses are never repeated with enough frequency.

Does your important sales or marketing message make it into your target audience's memory bank? Do you use the power of repetition to your advantage?

I encourage you to utilize repetition to get your message (your point, your brand, your benefit) remembered. Do so, and you may just be on the receiving end of those gold rings. However, if you choose to ignore the importance of repetition, you may wind up like so many of those not-so-memorable pipers or drummers.

Now... get back to your holiday shopping!

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