Most human beings have a need to collect things, and some of us need to collect things more than others. Psychologists believe that our need to collect fills a need to be in control or even escape unsatisfying lives with an abundance of what interests or fascinates us.
2KnowMyself.com observes, “Some people collect in order to create a bank of good memories that they can get back to whenever things go wrong. If their lives became bitter those people can get instant mood boosts by going back to their collections and recalling the good memories.” These “bank of good memories” and “mood boosts” associated with collections are no doubt the result of dopamine production, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure response and a key factor we’ve acknowledged often as a bonding mechanism for brands.
In the hands of a brand marketer, this need to collect can be the ideal leverage to reinforce a positive brand experience. Brand memorabilia keeps the brand’s consumers tethered to its meaning, even when they’re away, not using the brand or simply occupied elsewhere. These “pieces of the brand” can trigger brand salience and even the collectables themselves can become part of the brand identity.
As we all have experienced, some industries (and the brands that populate those industries) thrive on our need to collect and conserve things and memories. For example, tourist destinations and amusement parks help us create and collect memories through staged photo opportunities that we purchase (a profit center for them to be sure) as well as a collected, documented reminder that we share with others…