Book Review Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands

» Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in Marketing | 0 comments

Book Review Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands

Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands is written by Kevin Roberts, the then and current Worldwide CEO of the advertising firm of Saatchi & Saatchi.  (My wife informs me that the firm was started by Charles Saatchi and his brother- famous to my wife as the husband of Nigella Lawson, the U.K. food goddess.)

Published by Powerhouse books in New York, 240 pages, and written in the dark ages of 2005, I read it in hardcover and purchased it from on-line retailer www.abebooks.com for a few dollars.

This is an older book than we would normally do for a review, but it was referred to us from our friend Jim Joseph in his book The Experience Effect, which we reviewed earlier. He seemed to like it, so we decided to give it a read.  Also, as we always recommend that clients give some thought to branding no matter what size they are, we wanted to get a take from the person who runs one of the best known agencies in the world.

Is the Author Credible? Given his background in on both the client and agency side, I viewed the author to be credible. The book is well researched, and the author seems to have a tangible goal in writing it. In some ways, he is a rock star of branding.

The Basics: It is an inspirational, rather than a how-to book. The emphasis is on Branding with a capital B.  This is a true branding book, written by someone with a branding background, who runs an agency that does branding work. It was written in medieval time before Internet, so you are not going to hear anything about current platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter or even Facebook. Think print, packaging, and ads for products such as Tide, the Proctor and Gamble line, and GM automobiles.

I found the book to have a unique page layout/format, something of a cross betweena brochure and a book.  It was quite different than the usual book format: I personally found it sometimes a enhancement and sometimes a distraction to the content.

The book is organized into 16 chapters on related topics with a category at the end of many of the chapters called “Insights”, where industry notables provide examples of the points made in the chapter. It has an index if you are looking for something specific.

Worth the read? This was a hard one for me to answer fairly. I had a difficult time getting through the first part of the book, and felt that the major point was just repeated too often.  (The point is that there is an emotional aspect of branding, where the consumer of the product or service gets something other than just the tangible benefit of using a particular products. The key here is emotion: for example, not does Tide get my whites whiter but rather does it make me feel like a better parent for having washed my children’s clothes in it.)

I did find it easier to get into  in the later chapters, and came to feel that the book’s value was that it dug down into this concept in a way that you might not appreciate if his point was one of ten bullet points on branding. If your job is branding for your company, it’s worth a read. If that’s not your primary interest, I might choose something different.  I also feel  that given current environment, this book may not have the impact that it did when it was published.

If you decide to take the plunge and read it, I hope that you enjoy it.

When not doing book reviews, Harry works for Spalding Barker Strategies who helps companies meet their business goals. Check us out at www.spaldingbarker.com and send us a note at harry@spaldingbarker.com to learn more.

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