June 25, 2004
News & Opinion: Book Review: Lovemarks
Kevin Roberts talks about at length the importance of respect and considers it a founding principle of Lovemarks. The thought starts like this: No Respect, No Love. Then consider all the things you need to do to show respect to your customers - do what you said you where going to do, help them, tell the truth, accept responsibility, and never fail the reliability test. Most companies won't get past the respect test. Roberts quotes Frank Byrne who said. "Respect is love in plain clothes."
Lovemarks is really a continuation of the discussion about the importance of an emotional message. The three success factors Roberts lays for Lovemarks are mystery, sensuality, and intimacy. Under mystery, it is about telling stories and tapping into people's dreams. It is also about icons and aspirations.
Under sensuality, it is about creating experiences that appeal the senses. Roberts says the magic going to come from people who think with "and" in mind (i.e. taste and texture, sight and sound, small and taste). Just think about Crayolas just for a minute. How many senses do they appeal to?
Under intimacy, there are two great quotes from the book. Roberts first talks about how much people talk on their cellphones. He says it is about empathy and intimacy:
"Initimate talking has become a 24/7 activity. Forget grammar and argument. We're talking haphazard, incomplete, and emotional. This is not about communicating information as we have known it. This is a constant sensing of where you are, where I am, and how we are both feeling."
Two pages later, he talks about commitment:
Steve Jobs made his triumphal return to Apple in 1994. Back on track, the company went to the leading edge and stayed there. And all those committed consumers felt vindicated. More loyal than ever. What sustained the Mac lovers over the tough beige period?
I call it "Love in the bank."
With Loyalty Beyond Reason, Apple could make mistakes and still be forgiven...Only Love will get customers through the bad times when common sense tells them they should change.
It is those kind of love analogies that I like from the book.
You will find a lot of Saatchi and Saatchi self-congratulating along with many kudos to Roberts' former employer P&G. If you can look past that and think about the amazing Lovemarks of IKEA, Barbie, Birkenstocks, and Breyers, there is something for you in this book.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.