No matter how much we think we have grasped it, love remains full of surprises. Most of us would say that we know what love feels like, but try to get people to explain what makes love happen (and how to keep it alive!), and you’ll find that that there are no guaranteed solutions. If we take our understanding of interpersonal love and apply it to brand love, the needs of the relationship share some similar characteristics.
So I hear you ask, how do I know if my brand has reached Lovemark status? Here’s a fast way to do it. Though Love tends to dominate conversations about Lovemarks, people forget about its non-negotiable partner, Respect. Without Respect, a brand can never be a Lovemark. It’s impossible to love something that you can’t trust or rely on.
It’s impossible to love something that you can’t trust or rely on. -Brian Sheehan
- Does your brand perform best in class each and every time?
- Does your brand stand for things your customers believe in and admire?
- Is your brand good value for the experience it offers?
If you answer “no” to any one of those questions, you need to focus on building Respect before you get ahead of yourself. If you answered “yes” to all the questions, you can move on to thinking about building Love. Look at the questions below and see where you rate strongly and how your brand may need work. Love can get stronger — and weaker. Your job is to ensure that the hearts of your consumers only get bigger for your brand.
Mystery stimulates excitement, surprise and wonder. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of. To have Mystery, a brand needs to take on the role of storyteller: draw on its past, present and future; and also inspire people to dream.
- Do people share positive stories about your brand?
- Is your brand recognizable through an icon, logo, symbol or mythic character?
- Do people feel inspired by your brand?
Sensuality involves interacting with our senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste are direct connections to our emotions, and brands that have strong connections with their consumers provide distinct sensory experiences.
Your job is to ensure that the hearts of your consumers only get bigger for your brand. Brian Sheehan
- Does your brand deliver the best in design?
- What is the sound of your brand?
- Does your brand deliver a physical sensation that people can’t find in anything else?
Intimacy is where we get up close and personal, and it involves Empathy, Commitment and Passion. Consumers today want to be understood and feel cared for.
- Do you act on feedback provided by your customers? Do you listen to them?
- Do your customers have confidence that if something went wrong, you will do the right thing and fix the problem quickly?
- Does your brand gain new business by referral?