Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands

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9781576872048: Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands

Kevin Roberts passionately believes that love is the way forward for business. In his second book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, Roberts recounts the journey from Products to Trademarks to Brands - and the urgency of taking the next step up - to Lovemarks. Roberts offers a lively, critical assessment of brands and the problems that face them in an increasingly competitive world. His argument is straightforward. Numbed by the assult of commodification and customer indifference, brands have simply run out of juice. The solution? The creation of products and experiences that will create long-term emotional relationships with consumers. To get there, Roberts advocates infusing brands with three fundamental Lovemark elements: Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy. Mystery enters by drawing on the past, present, and future; the value of myths and icons; and the powers of inspiration; and by tapping into dreams. Sensuality and the five senses can be used to locate touch-points with consumers. Intimacy is created through commitment, empathy, and passion. The power of these dynamic forces is captivatingly presented with lively anecdotes, living examples, and graphic illustrations drawn from the world of advertising and beyond. The idea that consumers, not companies, own Lovemarks is fundamental. This book shows that not only business mavens, but the special people that Roberts calls "Inspirational Consumers," can shape the future of commerce. With a foreword by Procter & Gamble's Chairman and President, A.G. Lafley, the book also includes insights from business leaders, ideas people, and artists, including Cambridge University's Sandra Dawson, former rugby All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Visionaire editor Cecilia Dean, author Malcolm Gladwell, Founding Editor of Fast Company magazine Alan Webber, Nike's Clare Hamill, and Toyota Motor Corporation's Yoshio Ishizaka. The book is an entertaining, elucidating, and ultimately inspiring vision of the rejuvenation of brands through the power of love and the responsibility of business to fulfill one of its key functions - to make the world a better place.

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Review:

Sellout "Brand" or just plain "Bland"? In Lovemarks, advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts delves deep into what mysteries lie behind the long-term success and unwavering customer loyalty for a can of Coke or a pair of Levi's, ultimately concluding that Love is the answer, and without some emotional connection to a product, it will dry up like a generic raisin in the sun. Enter Lovemarks, the new marketing buzzword, which will likely be bandied about at board meetings as vigorously as The Tipping Point.

But before Roberts can get to what in fact a Lovemark means in the worlds of advertising and marketing, he takes us on a virtual tour of his CV. There was his first post at Mary Quant in London, then the gig as New Products Manager of Gillette International in the Middle East, on to CEO of Pepsi in Canada, and later the same role at Lion Nathan in New Zealand. The list goes on, and so does Roberts--on and on--about his achievements and experience building brand awareness and shaking things up (he famously machine-gunned a vending machine at a presentation for a spot on the evening news). More importantly, he succeeds at blasting away the smoke and mirrors that might prevent a creative genius (or an ordinary consumer) from seeing what makes Superman the most beloved super-hero of all time.

Despite the somewhat egocentric approach to taking us there (he is, after-all, a pretty smart guy), we arrive at Roberts's point beautifully, and see what he sees: "That human attention has become our principle currency." And that, in these times, forming long-term emotionally charged relationships with customers is the only way to make a product weather the long haul. And while Roberts speaks to us in a spirited, conversational manner (that makes Lovemarks a pleasure to read), the design of the book seems to work against him, as convoluted typography and a general lack of layout consistency give the book a visually amateurish look. --Christene Barberich

About the Author:

Kevin Roberts is CEO Worldwide of ideas company Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world's largest and most successful creative organizations, handling more than fifty of the world's most valuable global brands. Heading a team of more than seven thousand people in eighty-two countries, Roberts led Saatchi & Saatchi to become both Advertising Age and Adweek magazines' Global Agency Network of the Year in 2003. Born in Lancashire, England, Roberts' first job as a brand manager with British sixties fashion icon Mary Quant led to the development of a philosophy that challenged business' reliance on metrics and rational arguments. His early career featured senior positions in Europe and the Middle East with three leading, global brand marketers - Gillette, Procter & Gamble, and Pepsi. Roberts' intense belief in the power of inspiration and his love of working directly in the market - as opposed to being in the office - are still trademarks of his style today. In 1987 Roberts was appointed President and CEO of Pepsi in Canada. It was there that he famously machine-gunned a Coca-Cola vending machine in order to remind his people of the passion they need to be Number One in a competitive market. (His team had just displaced Coke.) In 1997 he made the shift from client-side to heading up the global agency in New York, beginning its transformation as a hothouse for world-changing creative ideas. Roberts is Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and at the University of Limerick in Ireland. He is the inaugural CEO in residence at the Judge Institute of Management, Cambridge University's business school.

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