Make love, not war; in other words, create lovemarks, not brands.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon - thetransitcafe.com
Friday, 24th August 2007
Our writerpicks up some love tips from the Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, who believes Asian brands have the most to learn.

Here's Lovemarks 101.

Free yourself. Liberate. Celebrate freedom and joy. Make love, not war. Okay, I made the last bit up but for one moment, I thought I was at a hippie convention there's that ageing hippie thing again and I was getting swept up by flower power and all that.

But it was just one of the world's top advertising gurus spreading his message of love. Lovemarks, that is

Kevin Roberts, Global CEO for Saatchi & Saatchi (pictured right), may not have been wearing flowers in his hair but in his black, unmistakeably New Zealand-branded silver-fern motif shirt (a Kiwi and proud to be a Kiwi, obviously), he could have been a revolutionary preaching love in the world of branding.

Indeed, he calls it a revolution. "It's not evolution, it's revolution and in that environment, the commanders are the consumers," he hailed from his pulpit at the Global Brand Forum in Singapore.

Why are Asian brands not powerful, he challenged? Because they are holding back; management is not confident of letting go; there's too much process and rigidity; too much nervousness and anxiety.

"Celebrate the sense of liberation, freedom and joy and relinquish control to the consumer," he preached.

Quoting Tom Peters "fail fast, learn fast, fix fast", he said this new rule of business is not intuitive in Asia. "I hate it when brand managers come in and talk about "my brand". It's not his brand, it is his business but it's the people's brand.

"The winners will be the ones who not only know the consumer but know how they feel. We do not need more information and knowledge, we need insights and foresights. It's not to know more, but to feel more. We have to become connectors, not directors."

Hallelujah, screamed the audience. (Okay, that was the movie playing in my head.)

So here's what's happening, according to Roberts.

The Attention Economy has become the Attraction Economy. We've gone from Interruption to Engagement; Reactive to Interactive; Return on Investment to Return on Involvement; Heavy Users to Inspirational Consumers; Big Promises to Intimate Gestures; and from Consumers to People.

Do three things, he urged.

1. Have an inspirational dream

The dream should not be measurable. Dreams are not made by counting the stars but seeing the stars.

2. Embrace emotion

People are 80% emotional, 20% rational. "Websites are today's packaging disasters; the respite of the average. They are not stories, not movies. Rationality leads to conclusions, emotions lead to actions."

3. Create lovemarks

Lovemarks are based on love and respect. Create loyalty beyond reason. "Make your brand irresistible. People sleep with their iPOD, make love with it."

And how do you create lovemarks? Put these three ingredients mystery, sensuality, intimacy in a mixing bowl and blend well.

Love Potion No 9, baby.

Kevin Roberts' photo courtesy of Global Brand Forum

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at www.thetransitcafe.com . Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
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