The Lovemarks Affect
Backstory -- In Sept. 2000, Kevin Roberts, CEO Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, first presented his Lovemarks concept (known then as Trustmarks) in an article for Fast Company magazine. Four years later, Roberts had evolved Trustmarks into Lovemarks and published a branding book called, LOVEMARKS: the future beyond brands. It was met with skepticism from many marketers who felt the Lovemarks idea was an over-blown retread of old ideas repackaged as snake oil secret sauce for ad agencies. In late 2006, Kevin Roberts published a follow-up book titled, THE LOVEMARKS EFFECT: winning in the consumer revolution.
It seems to me … Lovemarks is having a greater affect than effect with marketers. Meaning, it’s affected our thinking more than it has effected our marketing. Some folks love it while other folks loath it. (Hmm … is someone working on a Loathmarks book?)
Those that loath Lovemarks seem to have difficulty in separating the messenger from the message.
The messenger, Kevin Roberts, does come off as a narcissistic, fanciful word spewing caricature of an advertising executive. Ain’t no doubt about it … he thinks very highly of himself. (And I’m sure he would tell you just that if you asked him.)
But this messenger’s core message is very smart and very relevant to marketers today. At the heart of the Lovemarks message is the idea brands evolve to a higher level when they earn respect and love from customers. Roberts uses a fanciful word, Lovemarks, to describe the state of when a brand evolves to the next level.
According to Roberts, when brands earn respect and love from customers, they can forge loyalty beyond reason. And when that happens, brands transcend from being just a brand … into being a Lovemark.
Dismiss the name Lovemarks all you want as being a creatively clumsy word. But, you’d be challenged to dismiss the notion that all brands are not equal with some brands playing on a different, more emotional level. Apple and Gateway are both brands but clearly, Apple plays on a different, more emotional level than does Gateway. Whole Foods Market plays on a much different, more emotional level than does Kroger. (Right?)
While reading THE LOVEMARKS EFFECT, it became blatantly clear to me that Roberts is desperate to make Lovemarks a Lovemark. And according to this Ad Age interview, the future of Saatchi & Saatchi depends on Lovemarks becoming a Lovemark.
Roberts tells how the Lovemarks concept is now Saatchi & Saatchi’s secret sauce. Its their company’s unique point of view on what the Saatchi & Saatchi brand aspires to become. Its what will hopefully make clients loyal beyond reason to Saatchi & Saatchi’s ideas. Its something Saatchi & Saatchi needs to make the company more endearing so clients will form a heart over head relationship with them.
I reckon Roberts hopes the affect of THE LOVEMARKS EFFECT will positively effect Saatchi & Saatchi’s present day and furture day business.
Look for a future posting on Brand Autopsy sharing Money Quotes as well as a few Baloney Quotes from THE LOVEMARKS EFFECT.