“Lovemarks are the brands, events and experiences that people love. Not just like or admire but love passionately. For great brands to survive they must create loyalty beyond reason in consumers.”
Lovemarks, inside cover
Kevin Roberts CEO of worldwide Saatchi & Saatchi first described his Lovemarks theory in 2000. He boldly said that if they wanted to survive, great brands needed to create ‘loyalty beyond reason’ and that this was the only way to differentiate themselves in the future.
Lovemarks explores the concept of what the brands of today and tomorrow will look, sound and feel like. As Roberts explains in the book, the secret to this differentiation is a passionate commitment to three powerful concepts in everything the brand does and represents. The combination of these three qualities separates Lovemarks from brands: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.
More Powerful than Price?
“A business revolution is changing all the rules of the marketplace. Power is shifting from manufacturers and retailers directly to consumers, freshly enabled with information, choice and connectivity. Price, service, quality and design advantages are no longer enough to win. How consumers feel about you-their emotional connection to you is what determines success now”
Kevin Roberts from a previous interview
It turns out that we, the new consumers, are not willing to passively accept whatever comes our way anymore. We now realise the number of options we have. We have so many options, in fact, that price, packaging and performance of products and services are pretty much guaranteed with any product on the shelves. Which means that consumers are searching for something more. We still want to differentiate; we still want to connect. Enter the Lovemark. The three qualities which separate a Lovemark from a brand are mystery, sensuality and intimacy.
“A crucial problem for brands in their battle against commodification is their growing apart from consumers. Distant, undifferentiated, unremarkable.”
Lovemark, page 129
“Human beings are powered by emotion not reason. People are overwhelmed by the choices they face. Human attention has become our principal currency.”
Lovemarks, page 33
Here’s the thing – attention is hard to earn these days. And it’s fleeting; easily replaced by the next “new thing”. To create lasting relationships with their customers, marketers must shift from trying to “capture attention” to creating emotional connections with consumers. Robert asserts that one time consumers of commodities have higher expectations now and need emotional pull to help them make decisions. New consumers want to find ways to connect with everything in their lives, including brands. So brands need to become Lovemarks.
“The big question: Have brands themselves changed? Or is it the other way around? Has what people want from brands changed?”
Lovemarks, page 129
Communication is a two way street
“Listening is something most brands are not great at. They evolved alongside the mass media, and that’s where they stayed. Talking, talking, talking. The fragmentation of media demands a fresh approach. And this is where Lovemarks come in. Not to abandon the mass market, but to transform it with multiple emotional connections.”
Lovemarks, page 133
A new kind of reinvigorated respect is one of the founding principles of Lovemarks. Roberts urges us to consider understanding and cultivating consumer respect in business; the kind of respect that expands our business metrics beyond products, price, performance and profits, and into the world of engagement, creating intimacy, earning trust and inspiring love.
Roberts shares a unique set of principles, upon which he believes we need to build our business code of conduct. That is, if we want to avoid being a “going nowhere brand” and become a Lovemark. Those principles consist of:
- Perform, perform, perform
- Pursue Innovation
- Commit to total commitment
- Make it easy
- Don’t hide
- Jealously guard your reputation
- Get in the lead and stay there
- Tell the truth
- Nurture integrity
- Accept responsibility
- Never pull back on service
- Deliver great design
- Don’t underestimate value
- Deserve trust
- Never, ever fail the reliability test
Lovemarks: the future beyond brands is a visually stunning, sensual book, the design of which serves to accentuate the underlying message within its pages. In it, Kevin Roberts seeks to empower business owners, marketers and difference makers to examine their business ideals and develop transformational ideas. By codifying what has defined the truly great brands we love – and inspiring us to think about what the world needs now – Roberts has set out to help business make the world a better place.