Love Revelation

Monday, 8 June 2009 - Berlin, Germany

Brand Loyalty

Presentation Summary

As pressure rolls on through markets and households, brand loyalty has never mattered more to businesses. In this presentation at the Snackex 2009 conference in Berlin, Kevin Roberts uncovers the secrets to innovating, connecting and winning, by turning price-focused value into priceless Lovemarks value.

Since I addressed Snackex in 2003, life has morphed. Screens have proliferated, markets have crumbled, impulses have shifted, and no industry is unaffected.

There’s the before-world and the afterworld. Before today, your universe was increasingly defined by:

Big taste – with the good, the bad and the ugly, and escalating publicity of the latter.
Hotter competition, including retailers flexing muscles and squeezing with house brands.
Consumers seizing all power by and demanding heaven and health in one bite.
Trigger-happy regulators, who keep on shooting the usual suspects, then shifting the goalposts, spurred on by whooping consumers.

Until today…

Snack Year 2009, global financial meltdown, some insulation through munching for comfort, and…major multiplier effects of the four points above.

None of this pressure is going away, even for you health nuts!!! The choice is stay in it or rise above it. It’s time to meet the new challenge.


Crisis spells big opportunity. Act not on what consumers say, not what they do, but how they feel.

Consumers are evaluating more, experimenting more, connecting more, and switching more: health and indulgence, familiarity and novelty, time and money, shopping more and spending less, online and in store, as shoppers look for two worlds to merge.

Emotion has no limits, upwards or down. The more out of control she feels, the more emotion can respond, and the stronger that bond becomes.

Examples in the connect zone:

  • Kinko’s – Free resume printing.
  • Baker Tweet – A UK baker tweets followers when the latest batch is out of the oven.
  • Tylenol’s advice – Drink water, wait 20 minutes, and if head still aches, then take Tylenol.

Her question today is ‘will you love me tomorrow?’ The opportunity is to feel her emotion, tap into it, share it and pour it through you as a constant.

People are 80% emotion and 20% reason. Reason leads to conclusions. Emotion leads to action.


Most insights agglomerate facts instead of discovering feelings. “Insight” has been commodified.

Win with astonishing disclosure of truth, a revelation.

At Saatchi & Saatchi we go Xploring. If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo.

Go Xploring for your el dorado, that hot spot between taste and wellbeing. Use foresight to get to creative insight, to unleash the explosive power of an idea.

In this economy, a Big Idea is the only thing that wins. As fashion designer John Galliano says: “There’s a credit crunch, not a creative crunch.”

An idea is only an idea once, and if it travels.

Warp speed is about creating sisomo: sight, sound, and motion pulsing through tribes on screens.


Love is the only premium now, there’s no one left to trust!! Lovemarks are brands owned by consumers that turn what’s Irreplaceable into Irresistible, fusing Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy.

The Love / Respect Axis maps the territory.


Low Respect. Low Love. Commodities, price wars, volume discounting, US Airlines.

High Love. Low Respect. What’s “NEW” and “NOW”. Fads, gimmicks, promotions, the fun zone of snacks, locked in here by fat, salt, and what follows.

Fads that bust out to Lovemarks deal with respect issues fast and shower consumers with love. Starbucks rose and dipped. Text messaging, once a kid’s fad, now generates $100 billion a year for telcos.

High Respect. Low Love. Brand land. “E-r” words: cleaner, tastier, bigger, cheaper. The respect bar has gone higher. Resistance is futile!! No respect, no love.

High Love and High Respect. Lovemarks – authentic, simple, shared, loved – the future. Reset your priorities here and win, or face phase-out.


Saatchi & Saatchi created Lovemarks to take value beyond price, beyond range, beyond reason, beyond recession, beyond brands.

Price is what companies put on the tag. Value is what consumers feel they get from the experience.

Get started on Lovemarks by turning price-focused value into priceless value. Understand how consumers are reframing value, and convert that.

20% free bonus packs, portion control, exotic snacks and nuts all enter the heat zone. Will they stay hot? Do they have talking power, forever power?

Here are some ideas with legs, to help move yours.

Surprise with the obvious:

  • Buy a Hyundai and if you lose your job, they’ll buy it back off you. Comfort of certainty.
  • Netflix deliver videos to your door.
  • Toyota Prius – a button start ignition.
  • Virgin offer meals when people feel like having them, not on the airline’s schedule.
  • T-Mobile makes life for sharing.

Jump Shift Value:

  • P&G invited consumers to compare their new product Tide Total Care with dry cleaning.
  • Tata Nano compared their launch not with another car, but a scooter. The world’s cheapest new car.
  • Aldi – “Don’t change your lifestyle, change your supermarket.” Insulating families from recession.

Take the Long View:

  • Dutch Rabobank Group stuck to its guns in 2008, avoiding high-risk sub prime mortgages in favor of low-risk lending principles.
  • Frito-Lay SunChips, now with compostable packaging, a high jump above the respect bar.
  • Toyota gained market share in each of three major economic downturns of past 20 years:
  1. By continuing to launch new products.
  2. By investing in strong brand and marketing activities.
  3. By going hard on rational value and priceless emotional value.

This is a time for break out strategies – for attack.


What creates sustained value? Better lives. The role of business is to make the world a better place for everyone. Your vision or your dream should radiate this. Everything you do should be energized by this.

That’s why Saatchi & Saatchi went True Blue.

The heart of True Blue is to inspire people to make the best choices for themselves and for the planet. We founded Saatchi & Saatchi S on Blue principles so doing the right thing is fun, irresistible, and viral.

We believe:

  1. The role of business is to make the world a better place.
  2. Consumers can change the world.
  3. Change is ignited by emotion.
  4. Sustainability as a catalyst for business growth.

There are now more overweight people in the world than starving people!! Obesity may well become the Number 1 killer of underprivileged people around the world.

If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything.

In this new reality, every snack, every nut needs a badge of honor, a fantastic story demanding respect and throbbing with Mystery, Sensuality, and Intimacy.

Switch impulse into pulse, assault into awakening, information into conversation, a magical space you own.

Don’t give up on ideas, on real innovation. In the sugar wars, a New Zealand company has delivered PureLo, a non-caloric natural sweeter from the Luo Han fruit in China, 200 times sweeter than cane sugar.

You have to want it to drive your passion hard, to believe that Nothing is Impossible.

So where to now? From the 10,000 foot view, swoop low and hard in this economy. Here’s how:

  • Face the Truth. With Pepsi’s Tropicana package redesign came a sales drop of 20%. Tropicana is back in the loved, familiar pack.
  • Act Fast and Act Decisively. John Chambers of Cisco said, “Without exception, all my biggest mistakes occurred because I moved too slowly.”
  • Reframe all your beliefs about value. If you don’t reframe, consumers will. Starbucks struggles as “Fourbucks”.
  • Control What’s Controllable. 
  • Measure Only What Matters. 
  • Stick Together. Create teams that don’t fit in a box – for performance, flexibility, results.
  • Adopt the Three-Day Rule. One day to identify the problem, one day to send the solution upstairs for approval, one to put it into action.
  • Eliminate Cost and Waste. Strip back to your essentials, and re-model. We are moving to a time when snacks fuel better living.

I want to leave you with a quote from Vince Lombardi:

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

Spirit Dance


An address to the Waikato Management School Sustainable Enterprise Symposium. Opening thoughts, ideas, inspirations and directions. Here’s an early presentation linking personal passions, professional practice, local imperatives and academic affiliations.

Edge of the World


A careers presentation to the Waikato Management School in Hamilton, NZ. What we do in life echoes through eternity. Business is a gladiatorial career choice. It is the engine of human progress. For power to touch and transform lives, no career track comes close. Kevin Roberts takes school-leavers and families on a journey through and beyond Waikato Management School. From Dream to Reality. From Edge to Centre.

Freedom Train


An address to the Tuck Academy of Management Symposium: ‘Why Smart Executives Fail’. Smart executives have a new job – turning their organization into a Lovemark. A Saatchi & Saatchi case-study on transformative leadership. This presentation explores the power of language and tells the story of Saatchi & Saatchi’s turn around. Through freedom and inspiration, ‘nothing is impossible’.

Brand New Day


An address to the Women in Business Inaugural Conference, Judge Institute of Management (Judge Business School), University of Cambridge. Business has global credentials to make the world a better place. By creating self-esteem through jobs, choices, opportunities and challenges. By focusing the power of ideas on innovating for the greater good.

Gotta Find a Way!


An address to the 10th International Snackex Conference. Curiosity is a human quality that can deliver true and relevant insights on the road to discovering Lovemarks, and it can be as simple as talking to real people in real time. Europe’s snack industry leaders get some food for thought on escaping the commodity trap.

Love’s Transformation


An address to the Unie der Belgische Adverteerders. Emotion is the primary motivator and ultimate game breaker. By building on Respect and igniting Love, Lovemarks are a call to action. Belgian advertisers go inside mystery, sensuality and intimacy to develop an understanding of the brands people love.

Rising Sun


An address to the Netherlands Association of Advertisers. Emotion is the rising sun in branding. Ideas, conviction and passion can lead to massive opportunities. Amsterdam Ad-folk get a week’s worth of ideas for connecting in the new reality.

Paint It Black


An address to the Color Marketing Group Annual Conference. The man in black takes his paint brush to the rainbow at the Color Marketing Group’s Fall International Conference. A new spectrum coloring where we are and where we have to get to. Paint brands beige. Paint emotion purple. Paint love gold. Paint Lovemarks red. Paint colour white. Paint the edge silver. Take a step back. Black attack!

2010 – Near Future Visions


An address to the Cambridge Alumni in Management / Judge Business School. The intersection between the public and private sphere is game-breaking territory. The optimistic power of ideas can change the world for the better. Through opportunities, business has the power to deliver self-esteem. We need to develop attitude, use the market, negotiate and invite love back into business.

Stop! In the Name of Love


An address to the World Association of Research Professionals (ESOMAR). Business has moved from the clichés of consumer focus to the realities of consumer commitment. We must develop ways to measure important human emotions like love, empathy and loyalty. The market research industry gets asked to step up to inspiration, and find ways to get past information, and find meaning.