Will The Real Kevin Roberts Please Stand Up

I have not read the book Lovemarks, which may be the reason I simply do not understand the frustration certain bloggers feel in regards to its message. Their main gripe seems to be that it’s just more old-fashioned branding mumbo jumbo dressed up in a cute new outfit. Maybe it is. Until I read it, I can’t say.
Here’s what I can say. Kevin Roberts is no dummy. He’s leads a worldwide organization of 7000 idea-generating people in 82 countries. Maybe that’s not impressive enough for some contrary individuals concerned with their own lot in life. I don’t mind saying I find it impressive. But let’s examine some of Kevin’s thinking up close, for a better read.
Kevin Roberts talking with Tom Peters: “Two-thirds of people over the age of 70 live alone; they’re going to die alone. The average length of a marriage in the U.S. is seven years. One in two kids in urban America is born out of wedlock. You’re seeing people not having kids.
So what are you seeing? You’re seeing people hungry for relationships, hungry for intimacy. They’ve lost trust in all our institutions. Does anybody trust the Church anymore? You gotta be kidding me, right? Does anybody trust government? You sure as hell don’t trust the company you work for, right? Because that’s going to be Enron, or they’re going to lay you off anyway next week and outsource you, etc., etc. So there’s no trust. You can’t trust the family unit because you probably haven’t seen your father. People are looking for relationships, they’re looking for intimacy, they’re looking for bonding. They’re not interested in transactions.
They’re frightened shitless by the fact that we’re at war, by terrorism and brutality, and who knows what’s going to happen next. They are looking for a relationship, whether that’s with an author, an idea, a brand, a product. If you don’t give them that, you’re certainly never going to be able to charge a premium. You’ve got to remember, brands are only invented to charge a premium. That was the purpose of a brand; it didn’t have any other. ‘Recognize me, desire me, have faith in me, trust me, pay more for me.'”
Like I said, this guy has chops. And if the above thinking is any indication of what’s in his book, I look forward to a good read.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.