Loyalty Beyond Reason

September 22, 2004

Presentation Summary

A Lovemarks address to the Grocery Manufacturers of America Conference 2004. Huge challenges face marketers and retailers. A power shift has occurred, and the new boss needs inspiration. This speech to a group of retail heavyweights shows how emotional power can connect with consumers.


Marketers and retailers, brokers and consultants, technologists and communicators, everyone here faces huge challenges.

In the past couple of decades when power shifted from manufacturers to retailers, big adjustments were made. Costs were cut, the supply chain reinvented. Efficiency was the watchword.

But today with power and control headed straight for consumers, the game is very different indeed. Our new “boss”, the consumer, could care less about re-engineering. Efficiency won’t cut it. Transformative change is our new challenge.

We must now play to win, not play so we don’t lose. Offence not defence. The trouble is one of our best offensive plays have been taken out. Brands have run out of juice. We are at the end of a great adventure. From products to trademarks, from trademarks to brands. Brands have been commodified. When everything can be a brand – religions, reality TV shows, presidents – brands can’t matter. But hold on to your hats. The next big leap lies ahead. The transformation of brands into Lovemarks. A brand that’s irreplaceable and irresistible.

I’ve just finished a book about it – Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands. Lovemarks bring new language, new tools, new simplicity, new measures, new realism. They transform how to connect with consumers.

  • Lovemarks inspire loyalty beyond reason.
  • Lovemarks are built on Love and Respect.
  • Lovemarks are owned by the people who love them and use them, not by companies.

Check out Lovemarks.com for the proof.

Lovemarks are the charismatic brands that people get emotional about. You know them instantly whether you are in New York, Shanghai or Barcelona.

  • Harley Davidson, definitely. Suzuki? I don’t think so.
  • Apple iMac. Again. Sorry IBM.
  • Bush and Kerry – You tell me!!!

Jim Stengel from P&G got it in one. Remove a brand and people buy a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and you’ve got a protest on your hands. To be irresistible, to step up to Lovemarks, you need to lock into the emotional power of Elvis. To shake, rattle and roll.

To step up to Lovemarks, First Shake the Status Quo with Emotion

Emotion is the new frontier. Humans are powered by emotion, not by reason. Emotion is how we make decisions.

The neurologist Donald Calne sums it up best: “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.”

To connect with consumers you have to dive into the Is and the Es.

  • “I” for Imagination, Intuition, Insight and Inspiration.
  • “E” for Emotion, Empathy, Energy, Exploration, Enchantment.

Take the shopping experience. What our client P&G has named The First Moment of Truth. 

Our research shows a typical shopper takes 21 minutes to do her shopping. That’s from the time she climbs out of her car until the minute she gets back in with her purchases. 1,260 precious seconds. And in those 21 minutes she buys on average 18 items out of the 30,000 to 40,000 choices available to her.

How does she do it? It’s sure not by carefully evaluating the pros and cons of each option. She has two and a half seconds to make up her mind.

We now know that rich layers of emotion, intuition, long-term memories and the unconscious make up as much as 85% of our motivations. Most products battle for attention in the 15% of her brain that’s left over!

Big meetings like this often dance around the point. P&G tells us The Consumer is Boss. Who is boss here?

Next year, send a big signal. Rename your Conference. How about: “Romancing consumers.” There is no merchandising, no sales, no marketing and certainly not a single channel without her. She’s not a target! She’s our partner.

The status quo has changed. Consumers are demanding, smart and starved for time. They live in a world were the fries are crisp, the lines are short, all beer tastes good. They are tough to connect with and proud of it. They set their own terms and they set their own trends. Technology offers new control. They can burn their own CDs, blog all night and wear pink with green if that’s what turns them on.

The grocery industry needs to pick up the signals. Supermarkets have dominated shopping since the 1950s. Women have changed since then!

Consumers want to express their individuality. They want choice. They demand control. And they embrace contradictions.

  • They want familiarity and they demand variety.
  • They want to eat as much as they like and stay slim.
  • They want great food and won’t spend much time getting it. 30% of households would avoid cooking whenever possible.
  • They want to purchase on impulse and insist on value.
  • They want experiences that comfort when they are down and ones that bursts out in celebration. 

Second, To Step up to Lovemarks, Rattle the Brand Cage

Brands are fixed on information, quality and performance. Lovemarks are infused with Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.

As the average number of annual household visits to supermarkets falls (from 85 in 1998 to 71 in 2003) each visit must dig deeper into Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.

The Mpreis supermarket chain in Austria has done it already. Open with lots of natural light, innovative architecture pushing individuality . In some there is even a bar with an outside terrace. No wonder their by-line is “The seriously sexy supermarket”.

Mystery draws together the stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols that give a relationship its texture. A way to connect past, present and futures. Most businesses squeeze out Mystery with too much information. Look at most retail environments for Mystery-Minus. To know everything about anything drains its power to inspire.

Sensuality enthrals the emotions. Vision, sound, smell, touch, taste. This is how we experience the world.

The problem I see ahead? Sensory overload. The skills of the future will be mastery of nuance and tone as much as grabbing attention. A shopper typically only see 50% of the items on a shelf. If she can’t see it, she can’t shop it. I’d go further. If she doesn’t touch it, she won’t want it. In 85% of purchases only the chosen brand is handled. That’s what I call a touch point!

The warm breath of Intimacy. Empathy, commitment and passion. Intimate connections that tell us why sampling is so successful. Your stuff in her hands. Nothing could be more intimate. Intimacy means getting close and understanding what truly matters.

Brands have been dominated by Respect for decades. Product development, consumer demand management, market research, value chain optimisation.

But Respect is no longer enough. Respect can make brands Irreplaceable to millions of consumers everyday. Only Love makes them Irresistible. Nothing else will do.

Use both “I’s” to see the complete Lovemarks picture.

  • Your mobile phone is irreplaceable. To photograph a friend, irresistible.
  • Milk in a bottle, irreplaceable. As ice-cream in a cone, irresistible.
  • A truck is irreplaceable. The Tacoma – indestructible!

We’ve captured how Love and Respect work together on this Axis.


A fast and intuitive reality-check. Let’s check out today’s shopping experience.

Low Respect, Low Love. We’ve all been there. Out of the way convenience stores. Gas stations that close early. Out-of-date supermarkets. “Park, pay and go away.” This is where most promotions end up. An irritation that slows her down. If shoppers feel that only .05% of in-store messages are relevant to them, the attention overload in the aisles must feel overwhelming. No wonder she puts her head down and races for the checkout.

Low Respect, High Love. The Fad zone. Hero today. Zero tomorrow. Fun and exciting for the short-term. Promotions, competitions and all the rest. They can be great when they feed long-term equity and an irrelevant expense when they don’t. Some fads have build Respect to match their Love. The Starbucks experience made it. Disney Stores didn’t.

High Respect, Low Love. Most shopping is stuck here. With shoppers fixated on the “e-r” words: newer, faster, bigger, and … cheaper. Why wouldn’t they be? It’s the only differentiation on offer. No wonder so much promotional activity in store deteriorates into “free stuff” or an interruption. Promotions needs to be an integral part of the brand idea across all dimensions. Functional. Sensual. Emotional.

High Respect, High Love. Lovemark shopping experiences. The stores that look through the eyes of the shopper. Intimate and theatrical, compelling and interactive, surprising and familiar, all in a rich mix of Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy. True Theaters of Dreams.

Let’s change the “You-view” and instead look through the eyes of the shopper.

  • You stack the shelves according to logic. She wants the shelving to reflect her life. It may seem bizarre, but sometimes the cat treats do remind her that she deserves a little loving herself. Try some chocolate in the pet aisle sometime!
  • You want her to be amazed by your food displays. She wants to be amazed by the whole experience – from fresh greens to coffee beans.
  • You want her to keep the kids under control. She wants them to have fun.
  • You want her to remember where everything is. She wants a helping hand.
  • Brands struggle to escape the commodity trap by launching more and more products. More and more fail. If you’re not number one or two, forget it.

Eighteen months ago we formed Fahrenheit-212 with its headquarters in New York. Its focus is Idea Led Innovation. Its goal? To become an innovation catalyst. To develop new products and accelerate their path to market.

Innovation everywhere is being fragmented into too many small ideas with too little impact. Scale matters. For Fahrenheit the idea always comes first. If you start with a fully-formed idea at the start of the innovation process, you can make ideas bigger, and commercialize them faster.

Clients already include P&G, General Mills and Starbucks. Fahrenheit is not about innovation for innovation’s sake. We are fixed on: the business model, the technology and how close it is, the consumer impact and the size of the prize.

And Finally, for Big Lovemarks Action, Shake, Rattle and Roll on Screen, Online and In-Store Together

You’re here to talk about multi-channel strategies. There are just three: On Screen, On-line, In Store.

Take On Screen and On-line first.

The 20th century brought us amazing innovations – movies, TV, computers, mobile phones. What do they all share? The screen.

In this 21st century screens have become Irreplaceable and Irresistible. On screen and on-line all the time.

But the proliferation of screens is not an excuse to get more complicated. It’s the reason to get closer to consumers.

In-store TV, PDAs, the internet and all the rest work together, not in opposition. Think of them as building emotional connections with consumers, not cannibalising market share.

To work together they need to be inspired by the same Big Idea. Small ones can’t do the heavy lifting.

Start with an idea driven by Sight, Sound and Motion. Nothing makes emotional connections faster and deeper than this magic mix.

Sight, Sound and Motion is how you think with your heart and feel with your brain.

Sight, Sound and Motion accelerate the First Moment of Truth. TV has been the greatest selling medium ever invented. Saatchi & Saatchi has been at TV’s leading edge for decades. The next creative revolution will occur in store. In response we have created Saatchi & Saatchi X based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In front of the screen or in front of the shopping cart. From consumer to shopper. We can make emotional connections that matter.

Saatchi & Saatchi X’s mission is to bring Lovemarks in store. To activate the drama of the brand where it matters. To pull the big creative idea on the screen through the whole consumer experience.

Everyone has been price and item focused. Saatchi & Saatchi X looks through the eyes of the shopper and sees the store as she does. And then goes into action.

Pampers is one of P&G’s billion dollar brands we work on. The core creative idea is “Looking at the world through the eyes of a baby.” We can translate this idea across every medium, we can use it to inspire insights, and we can do it across time and place.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s challenge is: “To be revered as the hothouse of world-changing creative ideas that transform our clients’ businesses, brands and reputations.

Where will your path to transformation take you?

  • To embrace Big Ideas, and not be diverted by small ones.
  • To get intimate with Lovemarks, and leave brands behind.
  • To transform the world of the shopper by looking through her eyes.

Lovemarks need idea people. Radical optimists. Inspirational consumers. People who are emotional, challenging, inclusive, truthful. Who wants to be anything less?

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