In a world of digital reading, you’ve got to love the visual and tactile experience of a gorgeous hardcover book printed on high-end glossy paper that feels like silk as you leaf through the pages. As if that weren’t enough, the beautiful vivid graphics pop off the page and literally draw you into the content.
And that was just the sensory experience of reading my review copy of Loveworks: How the World’s Top Marketers Make Emotional Connections to Win in the Marketplace. And you better believe that this book is just as big on brains as it is on looks.
Love is Better the Second Time Around
Loveworks is an extension of Kevin Robert’s 2004 book Lovemarks. That book caused a bit of controversy because of its premise that emotional connections are at the root of all customer-product relationships. Now that that idea is more fact than fiction, enter Loveworks, a book that takes that idea a step further and adds twenty case study examples of love-marketing in action with some of the best marketing companies on the planet; Proctor and Gamble, Toyota and Visa to name just a few.
Loveworks Romances the Reader with Visual and Intelligent Content
Don’t get me wrong. Loveworks is more than a pretty book. The author, Brian Sheehan, has loaded it up with intelligent branding content that will not only entertain you, but educate you on how the best marketers build lasting, loving and loyal relationships with their customers.
You don’t have to guess the purpose of the book, you’ll find it squarely on page eight:
“This book has one purpose. It is to provide tangible proof that when brands engage their consumers’ deepest emotions – instead of just appealing to their intellects, or even their basest instincts – they will win in the marketplace. These brands win because their customers don’t just respect them, they love them.”
Brian Sheehan Carries the Torch with Grace and Ease
As I mentioned, Brian Sheehan’s Loveworks is an evolution of a book written by Kevin Roberts. What I haven’t told you yet is that both of these men come from one of the world’s premier advertising agencies, Saatchi and Saatchi. Kevin Roberts was the CEO and Brian Sheehan had a long and successful career there starting out of college, working his way through the agency as the CEO of Team One Advertising, and Saatchi and Saatchi Australia and Japan.
It’s a Reference Book and an Art Book All In One
So let’s take a deeper dive inside Loveworks. The best way to read this book is to start from the context from which it’s written: connect to your customers through their emotions, and they will love you forever (or at least until you stop).
The majority of the book, 166 pages out of the 181 pages of content, are case studies grouped according to love lesson or theme such as:
- Xploring – See how Guiness takes it’s brand to Africa.
- People Power – Stories about the Toyota Camry and SKOL.
- Tribes – How Pampers and Cheerios pulled together diverse teams to solve big challenges.
- Virality – T-Mobile and Reebok spread the love.
There are eleven case study lessons in all, each featuring two big brands.
How Case Studies About Big Brands Will Help Your Small Business
You probably fall into one of two camps — you either love a book that features big brands and big companies, or you hate it. I can go either way. But I will tell you one thing. There is powerful insight in each case study that you can adapt to your small business.
Here, let me give you an example. Let’s take the case study in chapter eight, which features Miller High Life and Toyota 4x4s. Sheehan uses these popular brand examples and campaigns to show the power of understanding your ideal customer and the core user of your product or service. Both of these brands got deep inside their customers’ heads and hearts and focused on what made them feel unique.
One of my favorite commercials for Miller beer was actually one of the case studies. Remember Wendell, the Miller delivery guy? I just love this ad series. My favorite one is where he delivers beer to a baseball game luxury skybox. The idea was that he was going to replace the expensive beer with Miller High Life. But instead of replacing the beer, he got disgusted and left because the people in the skybox were pretentious and not paying attention to the game. Instead, he went into the stands and joined the real fans for a beer.
I know that you aren’t going to create a million-dollar 30-second commercial. But there’s no reason you can’t do what Miller did – they talked to their customers, they dug deep to understand what really mattered to them and they focused their brand and their brand message on exactly those characteristics. They talked about what their brand was really about — and those attributes matched those of their customers. This is what made Miller’s sales rise and their brand lovable.
So, don’t just look at this book as some hoity-toity branding book. Look at it as a resource for helping your small business connect to your ideal customer in a very powerful emotional way.
As you can tell by this review, Loveworks has certainly tugged at my emotional triggers enough to say that this is certainly a book every marketer and small business owner should have as a resource of great ideas and strategies to make your brand irresistible to your customers.
We can always learn from the success and failures of another business. But we should not discount the power of creativity. Nothing great has ever been born out of mimicking another company. You should always look for that unique brand. But in terms of learning, yes we can always learn from them.
This is not a hoity-toity branding book, but certainly tugged the readers’ emotional triggers which makes it a good resource to own. I will try to look up for this book online.
I’m sure it’s a great book, particularly if the first one was anything to go by. I’m in two minds about emotional marketing though. On the one hand, connecting on an emotional level, well it’s part of what makes us human. On the other hand, a credit card company for instance, those Mastercard ads around the holiday season – I really like them, I connect with them emotionally. But, at the end of the day, it’s still a credit card company. I connect more with the ad than the company itself.