When you gave the brief to your branding agency, did you ever say: “I want my customers/ clients to LOVE my brand “??
I am willing to put money down that you didn’t. And why would you?
In the words of Tina Turner: “What’s love got to do with it”?
Your company is focused on sales, leads, and other KPIs… Love is something we perceive as intimate, reserved for our families and close friends. But keep this in mind – when love is not a company goal, there is little chance to achieve it. And we all need to be loved. Even brands.
In fact, the most loved brands tend to last longer, are more resilient, and generate loyalty and sales.
After incorporating this approach in brands like BuyMe, and AWE, we would like to share our approach to brands that people love.

Love yourself (but not in the way you might think) first

Before you think this is just another Zen B.S., breath and read – this part is vital. You have to be in love with your organization’s purpose. We found that it just won’t work otherwise. There is a big difference between making money and “making people happy” (The Disney purpose). If your brand’s core purpose is something you are passionate about, that is a great start to getting others motivated as well.

The real McCoy: Define your perfect client/customer

Would you marry anyone? Would you share your most treasured moments with anyone? (The answer should be no , BTW) Not everyone is right for you, and if you try to get everybody – no one feels special. Start with defining your ideal customer – the one who, when they connect with your brand, will feel that this is a brand made for them – a perfect fit like fish and chips, C3po and R2D2, or Mondays and hangovers.
Understand who you are looking for.

“You had me at Hello”: Make an outstanding first impression.

Make a point of mapping your customer’s journey, with a special emphasis on the first touchpoint. Stand out, be bold, be crazy (not the kind of crazy that gets a restraining order, though), different is not just better than better it’s a heck of a first impression.

“No, you’re shmoopy!”: The honeymoon

Once your relationship is established, and it seems like everything is hunky-dory. This is the part that will create long-lasting memories, create brand advocates, and reach more like-minded audiences. This is your brand’s time to shine and deliver on your brand promise.

Spice things up

As time passes, remember their birthdays, surprise them every once in a while. Suggest new services, come up with new solutions. And never, ever ask them too many questions about their hot best friend. That’s right, keep inventing and innovating.

Be the bigger person in breakups

One day they may want to leave., And breakups are hard!
But if you want them to come back, don’t beg, don’t be a douche. Be the Ex they will always cherish. Be cool and generous (you don’t really need those CDs they left in the back of your pickup, right?). Be Brad Pitt in “Legends of the fall.” or something like that.. Be the one they want to comfort them when they’re down. Keep your distance but welcome them back when they return.

In conclusion, we are told as children that love conquers all. It’s not true but love is a force to be reckoned with. Consider harnessing its power to report more than sales stats in your next quarterly review.

How much B.S. can advertisers force-feed us in a single commercial break?
Have you ever watched a commercial and asked yourself what the hell is going on there? Why are these people dancing in ecstatic bliss around this laundry detergent? Why are we overusing inspirational phrases like “a technological breakthrough,” “challenging the basics,” and so on to describe a car – well, you are not alone.
It seems that the term “truth in advertising” is only something ad agencies use to lie – about themselves.

Let’s look at one of the latest pile of nonsense the advertising world has manufactured lately. Obviously, I am referring to the “what the f” commercial of the year, the “Zendaya for Lancome Idole Fragrance Campaign.” It begins with an image of Zendaya, the once child model/backup-singer and Disney channel star, mounted on a saddleless white horse wearing only a tiny sexy spring dress. The horse (who I presume was a unicorn in the original script) seems as confused as I am. Is this a Lady Godiva reference? Female empowerment thing? Hemorrhoids lotion ad? As she starts riding to town, the camera provides us a close up of her face; she seems confident, happy, and complete. The mystery is solved – female empowerment! Unstoppable by Sia is playing! You go, girl!

No one seems to notice this confident young woman looking for something elusive as she gallops around town. Is it a Starbucks? Bed Bath and Beyond? Drug dealer, maybe? – that would be a nice twist… She discovers her destiny in the form of some stairs. (Wait, what?) She charges confidently up the stairs, only to appear on a different street – similar to the ones we have seen before, never mind, maybe it’s a metaphor? – she charges ahead, this time with even greater confidence – right out of town. Déjà vu? Didn’t we shoot the first scene here? Now she is up a hill (Where did that come from?) – never mind again! she needs to keep going! The direction, or any other storytelling aspect, is irrelevant at this point! Now she gazes at the city (again) and with a spectacular confident, but still, feminine movement (because girls can be tough and graceful at the same time). She raises a bottle of perfume. It sparkles as the sun gracefully caresses it! – Catharsis at last!

No wait, there is more! she is replied by sparkles of other women – presumably on white stallions as well, waving their perfumes right back at her – WE ARE UNITED! Now we hear the slogan for this “I can – We will” (wasn’t that Obama’s?) All women needed is for this famous chick to ride around town on her unicorn, sorry – white stallion, to liberate and empower women.

At this point, the viewers are recovering from a series of convocation spasms and are just happy that this torment is done with, trying desperately to focus back on their TV dinner.

Now look, I get it. You need to glorify a product, and that’s fine. But please explain how buying a perfume is empowering women? This mish-mash of cliches and pointless storytelling is bad enough, but to add insult to injury, what kind of message are you sending to women anyway? How are we guys supposed to look at this movement now? The deeper you dig into this, you realize that this is just another brand trying to capitalize on the female empowerment movement without any real substance. Sorry, Lancome – you’re busted! And I know I’m a guy writing this, but my 12-year-old daughter was as baffled and offended as I am.

I am guessing sales were looking up for Lancome and that they consider this to be a success. Its true advertising is effective. Even using that 30-second slot on TV just displaying the logo on a black background would boost sales. Ask yourself, could there have been a more effective commercial? I, for one, think so.

Lies travel faster and further than the truth. But the truth runs deeper. That’s why I left the advertising world and focused on Branding. Unlike Advertising, Branding is about taking something true and making it interesting. With an emphasis on the TRUE part. Brands who are loyal to their truth make a difference while making a buck. Lot’s of bucks, actually. So, advertisers, I ask you, why lie to us? We’re gonna’ find out. Lies will help you win the battle. The truth will help you win the war. Win the war!

BTW look how Ryan Renolds roasts commercial cliches: