Went last night to see Bjork at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Her show was a bit uneven with an emphasis on ballads in the first half and EDM in the second half. I've been a fan of Bjork forever and she always finds a way to draw me in. While I was enjoying the show, I started to think about the idea of lovemarks.
Kevin Robers from Saatchi & Saatchi fame, created the idea of Lovemarks.
What are lovemarks?
Kevin Roberts explains:
"Lovemarks transcend brands. They deliver beyond your expectations of great performance. Like great brands, they sit on top of high levels of respect - but there the similarities end.
Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever.
Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don’t just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That’s why you never want to let go.
Put simply, Lovemarks inspire loyalty beyond reason."
I bet if you'd asked the audience at last night's performance, everybody would consider Bjork a lovemark. Bjork has an interesting way of creating relationships with her audience, an emotional connection you never want to let go of. Now, how are lovemarks created?
Kevin Roberts continues:
"A Lovemark’s high Love is infused with these three intangible, yet very real, ingredients: Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy.
Mystery draws together stories, metaphors, dreams and symbols. It is where past, present and future become one.
Mystery adds to the complexity of relationships and experiences because people are drawn to what they don’t know. After all, if we knew everything, there would be nothing left to learn or to wonder at.
Sensuality keeps the five senses on constant alert for new textures, intriguing scents and tastes, wonderful music. Sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.
Our senses work together to alert us, lift us, transport us. When they are stimulated at the same time, the results are unforgettable. It is through the five senses we experience the world and create our memories.
Intimacy means empathy, commitment and passion. The close connections that win intense loyalty as well as the small perfect gesture. These are often remembered long after functions and benefits have faded away.
Without Intimacy people cannot feel they own a brand, and without that conviction a brand can never become a Lovemark."
Mystery: Bjork finds a way through her appearance and clothing choices to create an air of mystery. Her upbringing in Iceland, which is mysterious in itself, combined with her need to explore new venues, countries and music makes us want to know more about her. She also never falls into the trap of phoning her next album in, always exploring new ideas, new patterns. I've never liked a Bjork album after the first listening. It always took me a few times until I couldn't stop listening anymore. She never creates the expected, always surprises. In addition, she spaces her performances out so you never get enough of her. Yesterday, she mentioned that she won't return to the US for 3 years and that made her performance even more special.
Sensuality: Bjork's performances encompass almost all senses and transport us to a place not many other artists ever visited. I've heard her say in an interview that she's always searching for the perfect song. We all know she'll never create it but we're always hoping with her.
Intimacy: That's her strongest asset. Even though we know she's a very strong woman with even stronger convictions, she feels like a vulnerable, almost child-like person on stage. Someone you just want to protect from this bad, bad world. Her dance moves, her singing has a very raw, not-broken-by-the-adult-world quality to it. Something wondrous that you normally experience when you see little kids dance or sing: Just for themselves, not a care in the world burdening them.
The concept of lovemarks will become even more important in the new marketing landscape. Bjork didn't become a lovemark by focusing on quarterly profits or short-term sales. She became a lovemark through authenticity and careful brand planning. Most brands should take a lesson from her.