Lovemarks – Life Beyond Brands

Lovemarks – Life Beyond Brands

The concept of Lovemarks was conceived by Kevin Roberts, former CEO of global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. It’s a term Roberts coined to define those select few great brands that manage to forge strong, durable emotional connections (love) between their customers and themselves.

These brands run so far ahead of the pack in fostering customer loyalty that they need a new label all of their own.

Hence the birth of the term, Lovemark.

A Lovemark is an evolution of the conventional brand to something beyond the norm.

It represents a paradigm shift in branding and in brand perspective. Emotion is prioritised over rationality, and relationship over transaction.

For conventional brands, commerce is the end game. For Lovemarks, it’s a by-product of the end game – the relationship with the customer.

Traditional brand-building focuses primarily on attributes and benefits to win consumer preference. Lovemarks transcended the bounds of mere favour by building a foundation of deep connection and emotional engagement.

They evoke a profound emotional response in their customers, to inspire in them one of the principle hallmarks of the Lovemark disciple:

Loyalty beyond reason.

Customers don’t just prefer Lovemarks. They demand them. They bond with them. They actively cheer them on and advocate for them. They form deep, enduring connections that withstand changing trends and emergent competitors.

So, how does a brand achieve Lovemark status? While there’s no black-and-white blueprint, several key factors characterise the essence of any Lovemark:


Authenticity forms the cornerstone of Lovemarks.

Authenticity is everything.

Brands must stay true to their values and principles in order to build trust, respect and credibility with their customers. Without these elements, no relationship can exist. Lovemarks by their very nature therefore shun anything contrived or fake.

Emotional Engagement

Without the ability to kindle emotions in their customers, a brand is forever doomed to mediocrity.

Brands are only able to forge deep, meaningful relationships with customers through the power of emotions. Lovemarks succeed in winning over the emotions of their customers in several ways:

By offering them an avenue through which to buy into and be a part of something they believe in, identify with, and/or are passionate about. And a tribe to belong to.

By telling the story of who they are, what they are, and why they are, at every opportunity.

And by standing for something much bigger than the brand itself.

Community Building

Lovemarks cultivate communities of passionate advocates who not only support and connect with the brand, they campaign for it, fight for it, and enthusiastically spread its message far and wide.

By fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie, Lovemarks transform customers into brand ambassadors and raving fans, driving word-of-mouth marketing and fuelling brand loyalty.

But Lovemarks understand that building a community is a two-way street. It entails both give and take.

For a brand to exist at arm’s length from their customer is to underestimate the essence of what gives a community life.

Lovemarks therefore reach out to their followers, reciprocate with them, engage with them, celebrate with them, grieve with them, show their appreciation, and always keep the worth of the relationship at the forefront of their focus.

Buzz Creation

Constantly creating a buzz is essential to staying relevant and maintaining the interest of the customer.

Precisely why Lovemarks refuse to passively rest on their laurels.

They fervently maintain a constant state of hustle, push the boundaries of creativity, and strive to make waves in their domain. Just as enthusiastically in their tenth year as in their first.

They keep the interest and passion of their customers burning.

Events; collaborations; sponsorships; special projects; media; fresh, exciting designs: these are just some of the tools Lovemarks leverage to create their buzz.

The world of the Lovemark is never boring, always engaging.


Brands and business have long understood that emotions play a pivotal role in customer decision-making.

Only with the advent of Lovemarks however, has brand building itself begun to leverage the power of emotions – by embodying the essence of love to successfully forge genuine relationships with customers.

The litmus test for whether a brand’s relationship with its customers is the real McCoy can be summed up as follows: If the brand were to cease to exist tomorrow, what would the customer do?

A conventional brand would likely be unceremoniously replaced in short order without as much as a whimper. It would be an inconvenience, at best.

The loss of Lovemark, on the other hand, would be mourned. That’s the power of emotion.

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