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Love Really Works
By Brian Sheehan,
Author of Loveworks: How the world's top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace

"What's Love Got to Do with It?" sings Tina Turner, in anguish. And so to a plaintive chorus from the "Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Scientific Marketing, about what drives consumer purchasing: Love? Like? Or just a roll of the dice for whatever happens to be handy?

The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Scientific Marketing proposes that the best business and retailing returns come from casual buyers. In other words, people who put their purchasing power to whatever is vaguely recognized, is closer, is brighter.

As a marketer and academic I don't calculate any winnings coming from fickle winds; from easy switchers and churning consumers. As a marketer, I am absolutely focused on communicating to loyalists because they are the people who repeatedly and instinctively purchase you, who advocate, share and improve you; who don't treat every trip to the supermarket as a test of the relationship. As marketer I want the lifelong love affair, not just a smoulder at the cash register. Fame, fun and fortune are not built on ambivalence and ambiguity. Having a clear purpose, showing what you stand for, expressing your inspiration -- this is what brands should be doing.

For more than 10 years Saatchi & Saatchi has been on a journey into the human heart. We asked, "What comes after brands?" The observation was that everything had become a brand, and that a state of equilibrium had been attained across quality dimensions: in design, manufacturing, distribution, service, price, and even promotion. We wanted to develop thinking that headed for transformative change rather than incremental growth.

We found our answer in Lovemarks; super-evolved brands that mixed the rational element of Respect with the emotional qualities of Love. That blended the rational factors of performance, sustainability and reputation with the emotional elements of mystery, sensuality and intimacy.

The brands in my book are companies who take their marketing seriously, who analyze the data and draw hypotheses, but who also appreciate that being #1 in markets involves engaging emotionally in relationships with shoppers and customers, clients and consumers. Neurologist Donald Calne says, "Reason leads to conclusions; emotion leads to action." The text references several academic and professional research studies that show how increasing "Love" increases purchasing intention and increases loyalty -- very strongly.

I am going to take a closer look at the data and hypotheses of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Scientific Marketing and without question I will be better for doing this. My starting position is, however, that marketing people most need passionate, committed, and inspirational consumers; leaders. "Maybes" are not the foundation of sustainable business. Slogging it up the middle of the market does not make sense. The action happens in the margins, on the edges, down the sidelines.

Loveworks continues the commitment Saatchi & Saatchi has made to discover the alchemy of attraction. We are not opposed to algorithms and formulas; they are helpful in many respects. We believe that Love matters most. We have proof, and stories.

© 2013 Brian Sheehan, author of Loveworks: How the world's top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace

Author Bio
Brian Sheehan,
author of Loveworks: How the world's top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace, 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 for 25 years, with CEO roles at Team One Advertising in Los Angeles and at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and Japan.

Loveworks follows Brian's books Basics: Online Marketing (2010) and Basics: Marketing Management (2011). He has been published in Advertising Age, the Journal of Advertising Research, and in several peer-reviewed books and journals. In 2011 Brian was presented with the coveted Teaching Excellence Award by the Newhouse School's graduating class.

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