Interview with Brian Sheehan: How Do Students Feel About Lovemarks?

In Part 2 of our conversation with Brian Sheehan, author of Loveworks: How the world’s top marketers make emotional connections to win in the marketplace, Brian speaks about the response to Lovemarks in the classroom.


Lovemarks Campus: We know that consumers in the Age of Now have become incredibly sophisticated when it comes to how they respond to advertising. How do your students respond to the idea of Lovemarks?

Brian Sheehan:
It’s funny, because I actually find students appreciate Lovemarks more than professionals do. Because they’re not cynical. Students come with bright, open minds. Particularly students, when they hit the age when I am teaching them, 18…19…20…21. They are not naive. I’m not “throwing one over” on them. They are very smart. In many ways, much smarter than we were at their age. But they are not as circumspect. They come and say, “Hey, this makes a lot of sense.” “This makes intuitive sense.” And when you talk to them about what their Lovemarks are they go, “I feel this way about certain brands, and there are brands that I feel this way about that the person next to me doesn’t feel about.” And when you plumb into the depths of that emotional feeling, they start to realize, “Wow, there is incredible power here.”

We had a story the other day where they were talking about Google. And one of the professors was saying, “How can Google have this market valuation?”, and he’s listed all their assets. And their assets and their market valuation have nothing to do with each other. Now compare that to an entertainment company like Disney; Disney owns movie studios; Disney owns theme parks; Disney owns television stations; and he listed all these billions of dollars of assets. So he said, “This one is worth half what that one is. How could that be, when this one owns so much?” And some student raised their hand and said, “But Google owns me.” That’s Lovemarks. And they get that.

What happens when you’re in the professional world you get so overwhelmed with all the daily issues, trying to keep your brand competitive, it’s very hard to see the forest from the trees. Lovemarks is the forest. And you have to step back, look at it, see it through a new lens, and that’s the lens of your customer.