Kevin Roberts, CEO of advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi, describes “Love Marks”, as a growing phenomenon of advertising, which are destined to take over from the concept of brands. Evidently, love marks, as a brand, create loyalty beyond reason by allowing consumers to build an emotional connection that uses mystery, sensuality and intimacy. In Zambia, we have witnessed an emerging trend that points to the evolution of local brands becoming love marks. Here is some of the evidence we have observed from some of the premier companies listed on LUSE.
Zambeef has built a brand that is a house hold name. You will note that this firm deals with both sides of the consumer spectrum: cheap and premium. Through their micro outlets, such as the ones in some of the densely populated townships, they have brought food closer to the consumers. When the company faced the wrath of consumers over their importation of products that had questionable preservatives, they were quick to stop the practice and re-established the customer loyalty they had. This was evident from their performance in the following financial periods which was indicative of a bond that was strong and intimate: Love mark.
Zamefa has had customers swearing by their cables as being the most reliable. Although we had reported in an earlier blog of the 2015 financial performance that exports were the main value creator, we noted from the mid-year review that local purchases were on the increase as more and more customers trusted their quality products. What was interesting was that their brand was not ubiquitously visible, however, through an emotional connection that customers made by trusting the product over others, a strong bond was created: Love mark.
Zambia Breweries has been producing its flagship product Mosi for generations. Although the company has undergone takers and changed its face over the years, you cannot deny that consumers have remained loyal to their product Mosi. Some may recall when echoes of castle beer over taking Mosi were high, many consumers begged to continue enjoying their premier beer. There is no pub in Zambia that does not stock this beer. This is a beer that many consider as the identity of our country Zambia. A national icon perhaps but the sensual relationship that exits between Mosi and its consumers can only lead us to believe that a love mark exists.
All the companies mentioned have spent a considerable amount of money to grow their brands. In order to stay competitive, marketing campaigns for their products may be seen to become more personal. It is at this point that the firms realize that in order to sustain the sales of their products, their consumers must be faced with a loyalty dilemma before they consider buying a competitor’s product.
Evidence from financial statements suggests that goodwill is important in achieving the development of love marks. Although it is an amount that can be easily impaired when issues of reputation are raised, this is one component that must be protected by the company in order to ensure it remains relevant with its customers. Furthermore, we at TFHZPC believe that love marks are the driving force behind production drives demand. The economics of our argument is that if your product is so loved, it will have price inelasticity and sales will be driven by your production levels.