Courtesy of Kevin Roberts, CEO of ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi:

Lovemarks transcend brands. They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Like great brands, they sit on top of high levels of respect – but there the similarities end.

Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever.

Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don’t just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That’s why you never want to let go.

Put simply, Lovemarks inspire: Loyalty Beyond Reason

The Hallmarks Of A Lovemark

At the core of every Lovemark is Respect. No Respect? It’s not a Lovemark. It’s as simple as that.  Check out the Love/Respect Axis and see just where your favorite brand is sitting.

A Lovemark’s high Love is infused with these three intangible, yet very real, ingredients: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.

Mystery draws together stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols. It is where past, present and future become one.

Mystery adds to the complexity of relationships and experiences because people are drawn to what they don’t know. After all, if we knew everything, there would be nothing left to learn or to wonder at.

Sensuality keeps the five senses on constant alert for new textures, intriguing scents and tastes, wonderful music. Sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.

Our senses work together to alert us, lift us, transport us. When they are stimulated at the same time, the results are unforgettable. It is through the five senses we experience the world and create our memories.

Intimacy means empathy, commitment and passion. The close connections that win intense loyalty as well as the small perfect gesture. These are often remembered long after functions and benefits have faded away.

Without Intimacy people cannot feel they own a brand, and without that conviction a brand can never become a Lovemark.

And it gets even better with the Lovemarks Profiler so you can assess your own company’s or brand’s status as Lovemark:

Put Your Brand To The Test

Instructions: Answer the following questions with a YES or NO answer. If you can answer YES to all the questions, congratulations, your brand is a Lovemark! If you can not answer YES to all of the questions below, identify the section where love is needed.

It’s the consumer that decides whether something is a Lovemark – and the consumer needs to respect that ’something’ first. See the Love/Respect Axis for more on this.

• Performance is critical to good relationships. How can you love something that constantly lets you down? Does ____ perform as best in class each and every time?

• Confidence lays the foundation for commitment and commitment is essential to a Lovemark. Do you feel confident enough to recommend ____  to your best friend?

• Lovemarks cannot be associated with anything that would knowingly hurt people or the environment they live in. Are you confident that ____ would never do anything you wouldn’t want to be associated with?

• Giving great value is table-stakes for any Lovemark. Is ____ good value for the experience it offers?


If you knew everything about someone, why would you come back for more? Mystery stimulates excitement, surprise and wonder.

Great stories
Stories are the food that Lovemarks thrive on. They are the way we give value to the things we love. A perfect Lovemarks story? The tale of the couple who named their daughter Isabella Alexus after she was born in the back seat of the family Lexus.

• Do you have a story you often use to show how you feel about ____ ?

• Do you often see ____ mentioned positively in the media?

• Have you ever given ____ some direct feedback? It could have been any kind of comment or story or testimonial.

Past, present and future together
Human beings have an accurate sense of time and who matters to them. Shared experiences show us where we belong and who cares about us.

• Do you know how ____ started and some of the goals it has achieved over the years?

• Have you ever seen ____ celebrating a milestone or an event from its past?

• Are you aware of what ____ has in mind for the future?

Taps into dreams
Dreams are why Lovemarks have such a mysterious familiarity to those who love them. Apple Computers dreams of being ahead of everyone else in design and cool. Being seated at a Steinway playing to a rapt audience burrows deep into the dreams of musicians.

• Does ____ fit in perfectly to the way you dream about yourself?

• If ____ was suddenly no longer available, would it make a real difference to your life?

Myths and icons
McDonald’s golden arches, M&M’s candy spokespeople, Hello Kitty, they all share personality, distinctiveness and attitude. Icons can also be great events or special places.

• Is ____ associated with any icon, logo, symbol or mythic characters?

Lovemarks are inspirational. From Nelson Mandela to the Toyota Prius’ determination to help make the world a better place, Lovemarks do the right thing.

• Has ____ been inspirational in your life?

The five senses are portals to the emotions. Vision, sound, smell, touch, taste. This is how we experience the world and shape our relationships.

Great design is a sign that love has been lavished on a Lovemark. While form may follow function, it is form that warms the heart. Simply put, a poorly-designed object cannot be a Lovemark.

• Has ____ been designed to deliver more than the basic functional requirements?

• Is ____ the best designed example of its type?

• Is ____ the ultimate design for its category?

When Harley-Davidson attempted to copyright the roar of their bikes, they wanted to keep hold of magic. Music too captures spirit and gives us the milestones of our memories.

• If ____ has a sound, do you know what it is?

Smell and Taste
The smell of a new car, the taste of freshly-baked cookies, the perfume of the one you love. Our sense of smell and taste are inextricably entwined. Can’t think of a way to associate taste with what you’ve selected to profile? Apple did it for computers. Made them in candy colours, called them names like lime, blueberry and tangerine. YUM!

• Does ____ have a great smell or taste associated with it?

• If ____ has a smell or a taste, do you know what it is?

As soon as we are born we start to learn about the world we love by touching. A Lovemark understands that the way something feels shapes how we feel about it.

• Does ____ have a physical sensation that you can’t find in anything else?

• Do you get pleasure from touching ____ ?

Love affairs are personal. They demand perfect pitch. They can soar or falter on a gesture. Intimacy is often only valued when the spell is broken.

The reason we stick to the things we love is because we feel at home with them. They speak to our secret desires and anticipate our needs before we can even articulate them.

• Do you think you matter to the people responsible for ____ ?

• Do you feel that ____ will listen if you when you make a suggestion?

• Do you know the name of anyone involved with ____ ?

• Many Lovemarks have a nickname or pet name. Fedex, Bud, Coke and Bloomies are all examples. Does  ____ have one?

Love is a long-term commitment. Sure it can be tested, and certainly it can falter. But love is strong and has reserves that get it through the hard times. Love in the bank.

• If you found something that performed slightly better than ____ would you stay loyal to ____ anyway?

• If something went wrong with ____ do you have confidence in people responsible to do the right thing, do it quickly and fix the problem?

A Lovemark thrives on the intensity and spark of passion. Passion is what makes people want to get up close and personal.

• Have you ever tried to convince anyone to change to ____ ?

• If ____ had human emotions, do you know what they would be?

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