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Entries in Trust (1)

Thursday
Dec132012

Trustmark to Lovemark

Today, many brands are transitioning into trustmarks. They have developed a high level of loyalty and respect from their customers, thus moving their companies beyond the ordinary to something more special in the eyes of the public. This transition is excellent, as it separates you from the crowd. The next step for those companies which have achieved trustmark is to work toward the elevated position of lovemark.

A lovemark is the highest level of marketing and is when a company receives both respect and love from its customers. The basis of a lovemark is an emotional response to both the product and the company. Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saachi first introduced this concept and defined lovemarks as having three elements: Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy. These are not the usual words we use to describe a product, but all work together to create the magic, that intangible feeling, that people develop toward a “brand.”

Every great lovemark will have mystery entwined within its essence—and that mystery will include a remarkable story, invoking dreams and inspiration for those who consume. The lovemark embraces sensuality—the senses of the consumer will be directly touched by the product and its advertising. Then, through the sensuality, the emotional attachment to a lovemark evolves into intimacy. No, this is not a rational response to the marketing put forth by companies—it is an emotional response, and because of that, this response is extremely powerful, propelling companies to the top of the market.

So far, we have only considered the theoretical aspects of a lovemark. It is valuable to consider examples of some of the best companies in the world which are considered to be lovemarks, and the public response to each.

Think of Apple, or rather the iMac many years ago. When it was introduced, the apple in the logo was familiar to every consumer in the world. But what did the marketers do with it? They put up a huge billboard showing the new iMac, the Apple logo, and one word: YUM!  People could not resist touching the new iMac when they saw it, and then, that now-famous billboard suggested taste. Through the charmed image of Apple, marketers were able to push the product and the company to a higher and higher level—even at that early stage—until today after years of love, loyalty and respect, the company is matchless in the eyes of the consumer.

Johnson & Johnson is another icon throughout the world. It reached lovemark as customers lived with it through generations. Frequently heard “I remember my mama splashing it on me after a bath. She told me I would always feel fresh.” “It reminds me of a warm hug from my mom.” “I feel so pure and untouched.” “Comforting smell.” What is happening here? We find a connection to mystery (personal story), sensuality (touch, smell), and intimacy (after my bath, warm hug)—all lovemark indicators from customers who are more than loyal.

Cadbury is known throughout the world for its superior chocolate products. Although men do love it, the women are the real fans of the product: “Nothing makes me feel as good as a Cadbury.” The way a Cadbury melts, the sweetness of the morsel, reduction of stress, memories from my childhood—all words of product lovers. One even declared “For me, Cadbury is a woman’s best friend after diamonds.” This is a pretty strong commendation for a chocolate bar, but all of the comments fit the description of lovemark exactly.

Sony, a tech play in the market, finds emotionally attached fans everywhere. They declare that Sony looks good, operates well, a “symbol of when quality meets fashion.”  Another says “I love Sony unconditionally.” Wouldn’t you like to have your customers say that about your product?

Dove suggests, just by the name, images of white, gentle birds which symbolize hope. Obviously, this image has transferred to the consumers of Dove products, for they all comment on how Dove feels, how Dove smells, touching the light bottle, and having Dove make them feel beautiful. Stories are told: “As an 8-year-old girl. . .”, “used it on my children”, and “Oh Dove, you have saved my life. . .” Here are all of the ingredients of a strong lovemark.

Aim toward making your product a lovemark. You can do this by working with a promotional strategist to develop mystery, sensuality, and intimacy in your marketing plan. It will not happen overnight, but once you have a lovemark, you have the gold ring of the marketplace!