A rose by any other name

Kevin Roberts calls brands Lovemarks and says that brands are dead. Lovemarks, it would seem, are the last word in branding.

This has been bugging me for some time and, while I admire the way he has marshaled his resources to promote his brand, sorry Lovemark, I'm not convinced.

I guess, in a way it would be like me coming home to my wife - if I had still had one - and saying "I'm not your husband any more I am your Lovinman," - and for good measure putting a trademark symbol on the end of it. Yes, I can be your Lovinman but I will also be your husband. Seems the two need not be mutually exclusive.

Are Lovemarks anything more than a hi-jacking of the marketplace's attention? A re-branding of Saatchi & Saatchi? Something to be as carelessly applied as the received wisdom of the 1960's concept of The Single Minded Proposition.

Make up your own mind: Order your copy of Lovemarks from Amazon

My former partners at BrandWorld and I applied the strap line to our business: Building Brands People Love - in 1996 - predating Lovemarks by a considerable (trade) mark. Our promotional materials posited the idea that it was crucial for people to have a stronger attachment to a product than acceptance, fondness or liking. Since then I have become wary of the anthropomorphism of branding - assigning properties to brands that are more a case of wishful thinking than is evidenced in people's behaviours. For example, it might well be that Mr Roberts assigns the values of mystery, sensuality and intimacy to Nivea creams and lotions, but I am unconvinced they are values that are necessarily shared by its users, rather than wishfully projected by the advertiser.

I wonder if all of the brands featured in Mr Roberts book consider themselves not to be brands?

Where the flaw in the Lovemarks argument really resides is in the positioning chart where love and respect are the x and y axes. Robert's places 'brands' in the high respect, low love quadrant. While that may be true of some individual brands, I find the placement spurious. To prove his point, but not based on any evidence.

Brands? - Lovemarks? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet (or rank). I'm afraid it's something to judged on a case by case basis.

Kevin Robert's Website is here


While I am on topic of nomenclature I have coined a new phrase. Bloggeral.

Since I have begun this venture into the freewheeling exchange of ideas I have been introduced to a number of other people all around the world who have done the same. While I am an advocate of free expression I think blogging has created a phenomenal volume of what can only be described as really bad writing. Toe curlingly bad writing. Bloggeral.
Which is not to say that I haven't also found rich veins of very interesting material that I enjoy reading. Either way: I love it.

You heard it here first folks.


  1. I will read the book, but offhand it sounds like "perceptual maps" and psychographics wrapped up in a trendy taxonomy.


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