Readers of this blog know that I love books. There must be some psychological label for someone who must have a book within reach at all times. Whether at home or at the office, whether on a flight or a long drive, I am uncomfortable unless a book is close by.
In recent years, my career has me surrounded with books. As I walk down an aisle of books, I need to use all my willpower not to stop and start browsing. And what captures my attention? Book covers.
Book Covers Pull You In
Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover? Book covers do that. A well-designed book jacket stops you. Maybe makes you squint or smile or pause for a second. It calls you to pick up the book and look inside.
Each year, I make a list of the best book covers. Here is my 2013 list. (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2012 and 2011.) What’s your favorite?
I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman
Shouting Won’t Help by Katherine Bouton
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive by David Goldstein and Otto Kroeger (see my interview with David Goldstein here.)
This is a guest post by Brian Sheehan. Brian is Associate Professor of Advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. Previously he was with global creative powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi, with CEO roles at Team One Advertising and at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and Japan. Brian is the author of Loveworks: How the world’s top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace (powerHouse Books).
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