Review – Love Branding: How to make people fall in love with your brand by Carolin Dahlman
Carolin Dahlman has two professions: branding expert and “love coach.” While these two callings seem unrelated at first glance, Dahlman thinks they fit together perfectly. In her book, Love Branding, she shows how marketers can achieve branding success by understanding how humans relate to each other.
Bringing in love to your business plan does not mean you have to be a hippie. The times of being a cold Gordon Gekko are over for sure – I think you agree with me on that – but I’m not saying that you have to be like Mike Myers in the move “The Love Guru” either. Love is more “normal” and “business-like” than you might think. If you can learn to master your customers’ emotions and make them feel the love, you will earn more money. [From Love Branding.]
One might expect a book comparing brand relationships to human love would be full of fluffy anecdotes about romantic misadventures and speculative analogies to brand building. While there are indeed a few love coaching stories sprinkled around the book, they aren’t the main emphasis. In fact, Dahlman populates this slender (182pp) but interesting volume with over a hundred end-noted citations as well as her own branding observations from both personal experience and consulting gigs. Long-time Neuromarketing readers will find some of the research to be familiar, but Dahlman provides her own insights and “brand love” perspective.
One key point Dahlman makes is that all too many brands exhibit that all-too human failing of expecting their partner to love them without offering their own love first. Consumers don’t want to be told that they will love a brand, or should love that brand. Rather, they want to be loved BY the brand.
Don’t just focus on THEIR love for YOU, but also show you care for every customer by giving, giving, giving. Don’t open a fan page on Facebook just to market yourself. Open a page to serve.
Some of Dahlman’s chapter titles include, “Catch their eye,” “Flirt and Attract,” “Build emotional connections,” “Keep love alive,” and “5 errors lovesick brands make.”
Love Branding, published privately in Australia, hasn’t received much attention. That’s too bad. Even if one finds the analogy to human love a bit of a stretch, the references and branding examples that Dahlman has collected are highly worthwhile. Unfortunately, one can’t just pop on Amazon to get a copy; it’s available only from Dahlman’s own site. Watch this space: in coming posts – I’ll share a few more of Dahlman’s insights. And, for Dahlman’s view on linking love and branding, see the video below:
“…too many brands exhibit that all-too human failing of expecting their partner to love them without offering their own love first.”
I love this quote and is so true. A good example of this quote, is Social Media. Many people forget that they cannot just “post information” they have to have give something back to their followers, before they, the brand, will get anything back of value.
Agree about social media, David. I’m always watching my timeline for non-conversational “broadcasters” to unfollow or block.
Agreed. Great quote above, however, I find it’s often the quality and the content of the information posted that contributes to brand awareness. Many are OK with following a brand that offers tips, and general how-to-info, without the casual conversation included.
Maybe it’s just me, Steven, but while I was willing to follow that kind of user in my early Twitter days, now I find myself very unlikely to follow a brand (or any other account) that tweets/posts only tips and info. I have enough real humans to watch without robotic info about how to cook a turkey or paint my house.
I have heard some very positive reviews of this book. It is currently on my Christmas list. Can’t wait to get a more in-depth look at it.
I quite like your review of the book but the video was bit of a let down.At a fundamental level human relationships and how consumers connect to brands are indeed quite similar.At the end of the day it comes down to selling/pitching yourself to attract someone, it always is about selling.From a marketing perspective it really boils down to how well you can make customers feel your brand is speaking to them,its a fine line between being everything to everyone and a stroke of genius that makes people connect with your brand regardless of their background
She doesn’t seem too convinced that the same principles apply to both romantic relationships and clients-brands relationships. And by the way, did you notice the expression of disgust on her face when she talks about brands in the beginning of her video? The disgust also appears more discreetly when talking about short-term love, which is very understandable…
Hope nobody takes this stuff too serious. It might work for some brands, especially when humans feel a desire to connect. But for most of the brands it is worthless. Who is ever going to fall in love with his toilet paper? His tooth paste? Or his parts supplier? Or his accountant? (oops, this might be an exception). Or all the other products or services people buy without much thinking? It’s a mistake often made: to think that you can establish an emotional connection in situations the customer doesn’t care at all. And Darius, indeed the video gives me the creeps.
Michel, I do think it is quite possible for someone to have an emotional connection with a brand, even if the product itself is quite prosaic. Most people aren’t in love with uncooked bakery products or flour bags, but the Pillsbury Doughboy is clearly mean to evoke an emotional response. Of course, that may not be “true love” in the human sense, but Dahlman uses human love as an analogy, not an equivalent emotion.
Dear Roger when you say ‘it is quite possible for someone to have an emotional connection with a brand’ I completely agree. I am willing to go a step further and make it plural. The point I am trying to make is that for a lot of brands it is a dead end. For instance who loves Microsoft? I don’t. But I am already a customer since my first computer in ’84! I love Apple. And bought some of their stuff (iPod and iPad). But my main platform is still MS. A lot of other brands I buy them simply because they are well known. But if they are in short supply? I switch within a blink of my eye. Nothing to do with the brand. I just don’t care and they cannot make me care.
Thanks for the post. Appreciate you showing us this!
Today, social media marketing has become a must to all types of businesses because they are becoming great part of collecting opinions and improving brand image between consumers and other brands.
However, in the video she explained in a good way that, the strategy that works for Love will also work for Business on social media. And I think yes, there is a good connection. Because we know, in business it all about relationships that matters. However, the comparison depends on ones own perspective of their business.