As my personal relationship with my partner and lover came to its end over these last few weeks and months I have been contemplating the nature of relationships, intimacy and how we engage with the world. I've referred to Kevin Roberts Lovemarks in other posts and have expressed concern about the wholesale application of human characteristics onto products and services.

I think we must take care not to make blithe assumptions about people and trivialise ideals that go beyond importance and extend into the essence of who we are. I worry about unhealthy ideas of 'love' projected onto brands in a needy, greedy way.

My own thinking about the nature of brands as The One & Only, like all branding theories must, at some point consider the perceptual relationship with the product and the people who consume it. I believe that issues such as intimacy, as expressed in Lovemarks, don't properly address what intimacy is and its significance to us as humans. Intimacy begins with self knowledge and self love. The ability to be solitary (although alone with one's self) and also to be able to engage openly with others.

Since Lisa left I have also been thinking about friendship and its role in our lives, and found this by accident in a library book I had randomly picked up:

Cicero was one of the most famous politicians of the Roman age. He placed enormous significance on friendship. So the importance he gave to friendship should be part of the secret of his success.

1. Friendship is a priority.
"I just can ask you (my friends) to put friendship before the rest of the human things. For nothing else is so balanced with nature, nothing else is so accurate to things, be they good, be bad".

2. Friendship is powerful.
"Friends are more valuable than relatives because relatives and goodness can be separated but friends and goodness cannot. Once you separate friendship from goodness, the name of friendship disappears, the link among relatives persists".

3. Friendship depends on you, not on chance.
"Some people say richness is better than friendship, others say health is better, others prefer power, some like honors and many, also prefer pleasures. But those things are uncertain and depend on chance and luck rather than on your will and determination".

4. Friendship is (very) useful, in good times and in bad times.
"Does anything provide more pleasure than having someone to whom you can talk as if you were talking with yourself?
The satisfaction you get in victory, would it be the same if you had not someone who enjoyed them as much as you do?
To overcome adversity is extremely difficult if you don´t find someone who feels them as much as you do".

5. Friendship is empowering.
"One of the best advantages of friendship is that it communicates a light of hope for the future, and does not allow weakness and hopelessness of souls. If you look at a friend, you will watch an image of you in her. In friendship, absents are present, weaks feel strong and even deads are felt as alive, for that is the kind of memory and longing of friends".


  1. Anonymous3:58 am

    Wonderful insights on friendship.Thank you. But remember, this is *business.* Or as Adlai Stevenson
    remarked, "In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, 'How well he spoke,' but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, 'Let us march.'"

  2. Touche. Nice riposte. I agree, but business itself is changing. One of the things evident is that massive advertising campaigns, created at vast expense (Demosthenes clarion calls to action) are having less and less effect while products that match talk the language of the market and meet some unmet need (Ciceros dialogue), while still rare, do become runaway successes. Often it is not the say-so of the brand, bellowing from a soap box, that fires up the market, but the buzz of conversation from the market itself, the power of friendship.
    Adjectival associations:
    friends, like-minds, network, society, marketplace.

    Thanks for the comment, thought provoking.


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