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February 14, 2006

Arnie Herz on "Lovemarks".

Last week, in response to a Patrick Lamb post called "Brands, Lovemarks and Tattoos", I made a brief post ("Lovemarks") and invited others to weigh in. Like Pat, I am very interested in client loyalty and what I'll call "stark-raving fandom" and how to keep it (whether Hull McGuire or Butler Rubin tattoos are the end result or not).

Lovemarks. Emotional attachment. Enthusiasm. Stark-Raving Fandom. Brand fervor. You don't need to be selling Jif peanut butter, Harleys or Macintosh computers to win that kind of loyalty. It applies to services--and it is not awarded for merely being good at what you do. Something else is at work here. So just what is it?

Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity sent me some great feedback on lovemarks--and I'm posting it all here:

Because we’re in a service business, law firm branding efforts geared toward creating customer evangelists are bound to fall short unless the firm’s taken time to cultivate a corporate culture and service model that fosters passion and loyalty within its own ranks. I addressed this point before in "Workplace Passion Poll" at Legal Sanity, drawing on the wisdom of Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users in this post, "Reverse-Engineering Passion". According to Sierra, people with a passion “Evangelize, Connect, Learn, Improve, Show Off, Spend Time and Spend Money.” While Sierra’s referring to passionate consumers of goods or services, some of these passion markers also apply to fostering a passionate workforce. A company, such as a law firm, will benefit significantly if it has a culture, vision, products and services that inspire its employees to: become company evangelists; connect with each other around corporate initiatives; learn and re-learn how to improve the company’s offerings or business model; and spend time during and outside regular work hours striving to move the business forward. Without this internal passion core, law firm branding efforts might generate clients, but not the kind of clients who will shout the firm’s praises from the rafters (or permanently ink its name on their bodies).

Arnie also recommends this post from the Church of the Customer Blog, an interesting site on creating customer fervor.

Finally, I just started to read Lovemarks, the book by Saatchi & Saatchi Chief Kevin Roberts. But I skipped a head a bit. Roberts emphasizes what obviously has occurred to Arnie, and to Guy Kawasaki, Harry Beckwith and increasingly others. Regardless of their level of sophistication and anything they may tell themselves or us, clients and customers are "emotional" and "irrational" creatures. They stick or don't stick to us based on "an experience"--not just logic or reason. The question: just how does this happen? And how do we create that experience?

Thank you, Arnie. Anyone else with some wisdom on "lovemarks"? Or maybe just a good customer tattoo story? I'll settle for either.

Posted by JD Hull at February 14, 2006 12:25 PM

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