At the time of writing, Valentine's Day is looming large on the horizon and there is a buzz of love in the air. Whether or not you believe in the hullabaloo of the day - accused by many of being a cynical marketing ploy, I think it serves as a gentle reminder to stop, look around and tell your nearest and dearest that you love them. There’s nothing wrong with that.
LOVE. Whether it relates to a person, an inanimate object or a place, it can trigger strength of emotion that shocks you. When I say an inanimate object, I’m talking about the love my husband has for his Porsche. The love my child has for his Nike Air Max. The love I have for the Lake District (and my glass of Sauvignon on a Friday night!). It can make you do weird and wonderful things, leave you dizzy with excitement or bereft when loss is involved.
But how does this relate to marketing? The super smart people at Saatchi & Saatchi recognised that love goes further than the emotions between two people. They recognised that the same emotions are transferred to brands; with connections and responses that replicate how you feel when you are in love with another person.
Their Lovemarks philosophy is brilliant, and true. Since their CEO Kevin Roberts penned his book of the same name in 2004 – I urge you to have a read - they have asked the question: ‘what makes some brands inspirational, while others struggle’? I believe their answers mirror why you remain in love with someone and are willing to go above and beyond to retain that relationship.
What are Lovemarks? ‘They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever’. Do you have that kind of relationship with a brand? Do your customers have that relationship with your brand?
Asking the ORCHID team, they could all name at least one Lovemark in their life. Waitrose: for the glorious lighting, the tidiness and the helpful staff. Disney: for the childhood magic, memories of family cinema trips and holidays at Disney World. Apple: for knowing what I want before I do, the simple brilliance, the elegance. Bob Marley: for his timeless, meaningful and melodic music - at some point in our lives we all discover him. Mont Blanc: quality and design excellence that is second to none; it says so much about you when you take it out of your pocket.
But what makes a brand a Lovemark? At the core, there is respect. Then you throw in mystery (bringing together stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols that draw people in to find out more), sensuality (keeping the five senses on constant alert, stimulating them in a way that is unforgettable) and intimacy (empathy, commitment and passion; those connections that win intense loyalty).
How can you make your business and brand connect with your customers in such a way that their loyalty will turn them into passionate advocates; spreading your message far and wide? Whether you are B2B or B2C, you can build this level of passion. For inspiration, head to the www.lovemarks.com website and revel in the outpourings of love:
- American Express: Amex is like a father figure in my life. It gave me the confidence that I would be ok no matter where I was in the world.
- Moleskine: They are the nest of my thoughts. Life wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t have my Moleskine. It’s become a habit; a comforting continuity in an ever-changing environment.
- Guinness: I hate waiting for anything or anyone. Except a pint of Guinness Draught. There’s always, always time for Guinness.
- LEGO: I still secretly play Lego at 35, what else can I say?
- John Lewis: If ever there was a three minute warning, I would head straight to John Lewis as ‘nothing bad could ever happen at John Lewis’.
Give me a mic and a karaoke machine and you’ll hear me crooning the immortal words of Wet Wet Wet, ‘love is all around me’. It’s true and it’s yours to nurture, protect and magnify, in business as well as on the home front.
Photo credit: Saatchi & Saatchi