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 assault 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 power 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. When everyone is talking about a product, it's a safe bet that it's a Lovemark.
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 Blacks 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.
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
Publisher: Power House Books
Hardcover : 224 pages