You Gotta Have Heart

CupidIs it possible that we as consumers can actually love a brand? For me, it’s an interesting question.

You hear consumers use the “L” word all the time:

  • “I love Starbucks—just the smell of that place is intoxicating.”
  • “I love my Ford truck—man, it hauls that load!”
  • “I love my insurance company—and when they send me that late premium notice, I get goose bumps!” (Okay, that’s never been said.)

But yes, it’s true. The best brands are loved. Truly loved. Not just “liked.”

Because whether or not you’re aware of it, the brand is a relationship that can evolve into incredible lifetime value for companies.

And as in any relationship, it’s best if it’s a two-way street of love. Where everything feels authentic.

Thus, as a brand manager, if you don’t talk with your stakeholders—if you don’t get to the real truth about your brand qualities—what seems to be love can get confusing. I remember a high school sweetheart said to me, and I quote, “I know you said you love me, but are we in love?” Since she was way smarter at love than I was, as she saw my puzzled look, she added, “It means we both love each other.” And I said, “Well, do you love me?” And she answered, “Of course—I was the first one to say that I loved you.” And I said, “So that means we’re in love, right?”

Yet she didn’t seem happy with my logic—which I thought was her logic. There was something missing. (Venus vs. Mars?) I guess she was looking for something, or someone, else. Maybe she felt I was holding back. And sure enough, she soon bolted to another brand—another handsome dude, of course!

Here we thought we were being honest, but maybe we just were talking around the truth.

Think about it. Is your brand holding back? Are you really showing the love? Are you in love with your customers? Your prospects? Your employees? Your business partners?

Find the truth, baby. Get on the same planet. It’s the only way to take the brand to a whole ‘nutha level.

Good luck. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

About Peter van Aartrijk
Peter van Aartrijk is Aartrijk's President and CEO.

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One Response to You Gotta Have Heart

  1. Jess McLaughlin February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi Peter –

    I actually DO love my insurance company – it’s USAA.

    They have “been there” for me through all the big purchases, the ones that made me very nervous.
    But the people at USAA were steady, reassuring and very responsive to my newbie questions.

    Kinda like having a big strong boyfriend by your side, ya know?
    Is that love??

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