"What if forming long-term emotional relationships could be more than a catchphrase?
What if brands could grow and evolve with richer and deeper connections in the same way that people can in their lives?
What if the emotion that could make this transformation was Love?"
-Kevin Roberts, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands
One of my reactive questions to Roberts' questions is this: If hunger - the spiritual type - is necessary in order for me to remember what I most long for as a human being, how do I benefit from adding satiation value (Lovemark value) to products?
Jesus said to deny ourselves but he didn't command asceticism, so it's OK to have (and design/make/market!) pleasurable and even wonder-filled products. His command wasn't a call to give up my Moleskine day-timer. But if Moleskine day-timers "become for us an idol and begin to fulfill a spiritual role" (Barger, Eve's Revenge), then we need to give them up. Not build "long-term emotional relationships" with them.
You know the oft-quoted saying from C.S. Lewis' in "Weight of Glory":
"...Our Lord finds our desire, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition [and Lovemarks?] when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
I hope I don't sound like a pleasure-thief. But there's a fine line between loving my Moleskine because it is practically or aesthetically valuable to me and loving it because it helps me to fit in or elicits compliments from others. A friend even said that having a Moleskine makes him feel smarter simply for owning one, and I realized that I felt the same. Certainly I don't feel smarter because of the paper or binding, though it probably has something to do with the quality and attention to detail by gifted designers and manufacturers. However, I think it has most to do with the opening line of the insert:
"Moleskine is the legendary [a key word here] notebook used by European artists and thinkers [a bunch of key words] for the past two centuries [a key amount of time], from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin [I haven't a clue who this guy is, but the company he's listed with makes him significant, just as I am now significant for using this very same legendary notebook]...."
When a product "begins to fulfill a spiritual role," we are in danger of losing our hunger for what will most satisfy.
I know nothing about Roberts' convictions regarding spiritual matters, but I wonder why he finds it so important to wed love with products.