For a number of years, I have been a fan of the “Lovemark” philosophy of Kevin Roberts. Roberts is the CEO of ad giant Saatchi & Saatchi and coined the Lovemark term in his 2004 book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands.
As marketing chief in a large company, I stressed this concept even though using the word “love” in business was a foreign, and often uncomfortable, subject. In Roberts’ philosophy, and as outlined in Wikipedia, these three ideas are needed to create companies that people love beyond their brand alone:
1) Mystery: Great stories: past, present and future; taps into dreams, myths and icons; and inspiration
2) Sensuality: Sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste
3) Intimacy: Commitment, empathy and passion
Today’s world requires companies to develop emotional connections with their customers, and to truly create and nurture a fan base. And remember that the word “fan” is short for “fanatic.” This goes for B2B companies along with B2C companies. The way that people shop today and engage company brands is different from even a few years ago. There are far more platforms to browse – think of mobile, web sites, social media and more – and far more two-way engagement. The conversation you have with your customers and the way your company makes your customers feel is more important now than ever. Pricing transparency abounds online, so customers know what items and services cost. The way to appeal to loyalty is through love and emotion. Just look at the fanaticism of Apple customers and even their employees as an example. One young woman who waited on me recently at an Apple store had tattoos of the Apple logo and the Genius Bar logo on herself. Talk about love!
So, don’t be afraid to use the word “love” at work or at your business. And more so, don’t be afraid to foster love as an emotional connection for your business. That emotion can provide the stickiness for your brand that you have been seeking for a long time.