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Lessons From The Lovemarks Theory Of Becoming An Iconic Brand

  • Written By Livie
  • Posted February 1, 2017
  • 4 minutes Read Time

Recently, we brought you a blog post about Apple and how they don’t need a loyalty programme to ensure loyal customers. One reason we believe Apple ensures repeat and loyal customers is because it is considered a ‘lovemark’. What is a lovemark? (you may be wondering).

Lovemarks is a theory, established by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, that is based on a simple thought and argument. Humans are powered by emotions, rather than logic. That is why you may have received more results in emotional appeals than you have with any strategies that implemented logical reasoning. Essentially, the lovemarks theory insinuates that if you want your customers to act, particularly when it comes to picking your brand over one of your competitors, that you need to appeal to their emotions.

Brands can’t simply ask their customers to react to their marketing efforts in the way you want them to… it doesn’t work like that. The theory suggests that you must start by sharing the love for your customers, this could be done through subscription boxes, special offers and content that truly impacts their lives to encourage loyal customers. The distinctive difference you should be creating is that your brand is an experience, offering mystery, awe and intimacy for your customers, rather than just a company that provides them with products or services they can invest in. When you make this change in your marketing strategy, you will be rewarded with huge results.

Perhaps, one of the most powerful marketing tools out there to create a connection between your brand and your customers is storytelling. This element can be incorporated into your content marketing right through to the design of your eCommerce website. The power of a good story, that resonates with customers, has the potential to go viral- and this is where a small brand can turn into an iconic one.

It simply is not enough to just provide customers with products, services and offers. Inspiring your customers is essentially what you should aim to achieve through all of your marketing efforts, regardless of how small they are. According to Juan Carlos Rodriguez, an ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi, “We are inspired by brands for the same reason we’re inspired by the people we love, because they have principles and treat [us] like a human being[s] who [are] intelligent and [have] feelings. They show empathy and bring joy to [our lives].”

This is not something that can be achieved overnight though, it will take a lot of time, planning and analysing. To assess your brand, you need to know where you sit on the love/respect axis. It is a general analysis tool that allows you to place where your brand sits in terms of customers’ respect of the brand versus their love of your brand, and then compare with your main competitors. Low respect and low love means you are a commodity. Low respect and high love means your brand is considered a fad, that could be close to becoming unfashionable. High respect and low love indicates your brand is solid, with big opportunity to expand. Whilst the dream is the high respect and high love, brands in this area are considered to be lovemarks.

Research from QiQ, commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi, found that brands who developed their love and respect from customers increased the buying intention for a product by as much as up to seven times! Whilst lovemarks were used more by consumers in comparison to respected brands, with 119 days a year for lovemarks in comparison to 26 days per year, on average.

Other research also indicates positive results for brands who use emotional appeals to market to their consumers, with a survey of 60,000 shoppers across a varying amount of markets showing that if a brand can increase loyal shoppers by just 5% then they can expect to see in increase in sales by a whopping 10%! Whilst social media can also encourage a loyal community of advocates for your brand, as they will recommend your brand to friends, family and peers, but only if your brand is loved!

So, if you haven’t considered emotional appeals in your marketing strategies, it may be time to re-assess how effective your current strategy will be in engaging your customers and consider whether sharing the love may be the best way going forward.