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A Boy and His Voice

Lovemarks

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Lovemarks. A term first introduced to me by a friend, Myron. It is a term that is coined by Saatchi and Saatchi. What is it? In essential, Lovemarks is about emotional attachment.
Lovemarks is supposed to.. "transcend brands". According to Kevin Roberts (CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi Worldwide - and the person responsible for coming up with the idea of Lovemarks), "take a brand away and people will find a replacement, (but) take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence." The website goes on to explain what are the components or "hallmarks" of a Lovemark, etc. Go read.
In his book titled: "The future beyond brands. Lovemarks", a neurologsit talks about how "emotions lead to action, while reason leads to conclusion". Interesting. In his book, Maurice Levy (Chairman, Publicis Groupe, Paris) observed that "there is always some product or service that people buy based on impulse or emotion". Lovemarks is about creating a product or brand that "has the power to create long-term emotional relationships with consumers", and; "consumers own Lovemarks, not companies".
Now, as much as I think that Mr. Roberts is quite spot on with the emotional attachment thingy.. I feel that Lovemarks is just a fancy term created by him to... tell the story in another manner. Okay okay. Let's put it in another way. Who hasn't heard that it is more expensive to pursue a new customer than to keep a current way? No? Who hasn't heard of the term: Relationship Marketing? No? That's what I thought. The only difference I can think of, is that Relationship Marketing is usually dealt with at the "lower" levels (e.g. how to keep the customer, how do you make him/her come back); whereas Lovemarks deals with this relationship on an "upper" level, where relationship starts at the brand itself, and its business.
There's something else that's bugging me. Something I feel that's fundamentally.. not right with the whole idea of a Lovemark. A Lovemark is supposed to be decided by the consumer and not the companies. So.. how do you "teach" a business how to be a Lovemark? One more thing. A Lovemark is basically how I feel about a product/brand/business and how I love it beyond reason right? We all know what when it comes to emotions, there is no logic behind it. One simple example: I used to have this soft toy that I must hug before I can sleep (yes.. I HAD a soft toy.. key word = USED TO.. okay.. you guys can stop sniggering now). It's smelly, it's old, and it's not very clean. My mum wants to buy me a new one and throw away the old one.. but I refused. There were memories of my soft toy and me (think calvin and hobbes) and no other soft toy can ever replace that. To me, that soft toy is my lovemark. To me, that's what constitutes a lovemark, the emotional attachment that defies all logic. The question to Mr. Roberts is, how do you re-create that memory or that experience?
A Lovemark (in my definition) is a combination of brand equity, brand value and the relationship (marketing/management) of a business, a brand and its customers. Of course it's good to have an emotional relationship with your consumers.. but if you let the ever unfaithful consumer decide who you are going to be, isn't that a little too dangerous?
What do you think? Lovemark. Just a fancy-pants term? Or is it just a combination of ideas being called something else? Or has Mr. Roberts struck gold? Your turn to do some thinking and ranting.
posted by fuzk, 2:14 am

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