Archive for November, 2009

November 23rd, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

A few weeks ago, I was too sick to get out of bed, and I certainly didn’t feel well enough to be working on homework or reading HBS case studies. What I really needed was some light reading. And so I pulled out my copy of Lovemarks, a book subtitled The Future Beyond Brands. It had been recommended by a guest speaker in my Brand Management class, who used it as part of his branding philosophy. It was the perfect book to read on a sick day—lots of pictures, lots of graphic design, and few sentences with more than eight words. The author is the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, an advertising agency that loftily calls itself an “ideas company.”

Here’s a brief synopsis of the book: brands will be dead, unless they can make people fall in love with them. People want an emotional connection with a brand (which we always knew) but the author suggests that successful marketers will need to make consumers feel like they’re in a love-based relationship with the brand. Now, he claims, that love may be romantic, parental, or even brotherly, but it must be deep and authentic.

A recent example that I read about in the news is the Oprah brand (which I believe qualifies as a “Lovemark”). Oprah recently announced that she would be discontinuing her talk show when the contract expires (in more than a year, I believe). The interesting thing about consumer reactions was that there was no outcry. Oprah’s viewers, who feel like she’s more a friend than a talk show host, were writing about how they are “proud of her, for taking a new step in her life” and so forth. It’s clear that their relationship with the Oprah brand goes beyond preference or loyalty.

It’s given me some food for thought as I pursue a career in marketing. How can I create a love affair between my brand and my target consumers? It’s not a matter about tricking them, it’s a matter of developing the brand as if it were a person, a loved and respected person, that the consumer can’t live without.

What are your Lovemarks?


On the road again

November 1st, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

at the Marbles Children's Museum in Raleigh

at the Marbles Children's Museum in Raleigh

For the first time in over a year, we’ve taken a road trip! With our youngest child being almost a year old, we took the risk. During his first months, he was an unbearable car companion, screaming for hours straight, so we never attempted to go farther away than my sister’s house in Easton, Maryland (two hours away). But over Halloween we decided to make another attempt, and we drove to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit family and friends.

Xander survived the trip excellently! He slept for hours at a time, and was pleasant during his awake hours as well. My wife was smart enough to take long breaks at each stop, which made the 5 hour trip take more like 7 hours, but it was worth it. At one rest stop, we were playing Frisbee with our older boys, which was really a blast. Luckily they aren’t skilled enough to realize that I have almost NO skill in throwing a disc. I had a lot of fun just relaxing and doing nothing important all day. Quite a nice change from my usual MBA Friday, which is full of group meetings, writing papers, and answering emails.

We really enjoyed the Marbles Children’s Museum in downtown Raleigh, which is a sprawling, hands-on place for kids to play. The admission is only $5 per person, which is quite a change from the DC area, where any commercial museum costs around $13 minimum. The only children’s museum I’ve been to that’s better is the St. Louis City Museum (I’ve thought about moving my family to St. Louis just to be able to go there more often).

The only negative part about the trip was the return trip on Sunday night—when I finally started to think about the two papers I had to write for the next day.