Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lovemarks, Scientifically Proven

I've never been much of a research guy. For me inspiration and big ideas are driven more by emotion than page 24 of a research paper. But while I give academics a hard time, their research offers important steps to confirm, validate, disprove, or discover new and better ways of seeing and doing.

So I am very pleased to announce that the Lovemarks proposition has been further validated by a researcher at the leading business school University of Mannheim, Germany. Johannes Mühl, a graduate of Business Administration, contended that Lovemarks is a powerful model - but also not rigorously formulated from a scientific viewpoint. No surprise given that I was booted from school at age 16, and had a 30-year career in the cut and thrust of person-to-person selling everything from shampoo to beer (products separated by about 2 inches).

In his research Mühl studied the relationships created by Lovemarks, examined various hypotheses, and concluded that both core tenets of Lovemarks – brand respect and brand love – are empirically confirmed. He shows how brand love is created, and substantiated, by what he terms “brand passion”, “brand intimacy” and “brand commitment”.

For his work Johannes Mühl was awarded the Saatchi & Saatchi Lovemarks Award for “extraordinary scientific studies”. His work adds to the body of research that has affirmed the Lovemarks thesis along with a bunch of metrics that measure the “path to love”. In 2002 I challenged the world research industry at their annual conference to address ways of effectively measuring human emotion. Peter Cooper and John Pawle from QiQ International in London responded to the challenge and developed a model for measuring emotion that led to a full study validating the Love/Respect Model. Today we utilize AMR Research in London to undertake of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Lovemarks research and measurement, and they have built up a significant database across many brands and industry – nearly 300 research studies in 42 countries, 2000 brands over 60 product categories.

My instinct has always been that a brand that is “loved” rather than merely “liked” will attract higher sales, margin, and preference, which is what every marketer in the wants. Johannes Mühl from the University of Mannheim has just added his considerable intellectual weight to my belief, and for this he has our appreciation.