Love = Power = Profit

The Brand Love Curve

In the consumer’s mind, brands sit on a Brand Love Curve, with brands going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and finally becoming a Beloved Brand for Life.  At the Beloved stage, demand becomes desire, needs become cravings, thinking is replaced with feelings.  Consumers become outspoken fans.  It’s this connection that helps drive power for your brand: power versus competitors, versus customers, versus suppliers and even versus the same consumers you’re connected with.  The farther along the curve, the more power for the brand.  It’s important that you understand where your brand sits on the Love Curve and begin figuring out how to move it along towards becoming a Beloved Brand.

With each stage of the Brand Love Curve, the consumer will see your brand differently.  The worst case is when consumers have “no opinion” of your brand.  They just don’t care.   It’s like those restaurants you stop at in the middle of no-where that are called “restaurant”.  In those cases, there is no other choice so you may as well just name it restaurant.  But in highly competitive markets, you survive by being liked, but you thrive by being loved.  Be honest with yourself as to what stage you are at, and try to figure out how to be more loved, with a vision of getting to the Beloved Brand stage. 

The most beloved brands are based on an idea that is worth loving. 

It is the idea that connects the Brand with consumers.  And under the Brand Idea are 5 sources of connectivity that help connect the brand with consumers and drive Brand Love, including the brand promise, the strategic choices you make, the brand’s ability to tell their story, the freshness of the product or service and the overall experience and impressions it leaves with you.  Everyone wants to debate what makes a great brand–whether it’s the product, the advertising, the experience or through consumers.  It is not just one or the other–it’s the collective connection of all these things that make a brand beloved.

Generating Love for the Brand
  1. The brand’s promise sets up the positioning, as you focus on a key target with one main benefit you offer.  Brands need to be either better, different or cheaper.  Or else not around for very long.  “Me-too” brands have a short window before being squeezed out.  How relevant, simple and compelling the brand positioning is impacts the potential love for the brand.
  2. The most beloved brands create an experience that over-delivers the promise.  How your culture and organization are set up can make or break that experience.  Hiring the best people, creating service values that employees can deliver against and having processes that eliminate service leakage.  The culture attacks the brand’s weaknesses and fixes them before the competition can attack.  With a Beloved Brand, the culture and brand become one.
  3. Brands also make focused strategic choices that start with identifying where the brand is on the Brand Love Curve going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It and all the way to Beloved status.   Marketing is not just activity, but rather focused activity–based on strategy with an ROI mindset.  Where you are on the curve might help you make strategic and tactical choices such as media, innovation and service levels.
  4. The most beloved brands have a freshness of innovation, staying one-step ahead of the consumers.  The idea of the brand helps acting as an internal beacon to help frame the R&D.  Every new product has to back that idea.  At Apple, every new product must deliver simplicity and at Volvo, it must focus on safety.  .
  5. Beloved brands can tell the brand story through great advertising in paid media, through earned media either in the mainstream press or through social media.  Beloved Brands use each of these media choices to connect with consumers and have a bit of magic to their work.

Using Apple as an example, which is the most valuable brand on the planet, the big idea behind Apple is complexity made simple.  Since every great brand tackles an enemy of the consumer, Apple takes on the frustration and intimidation that consumers have with technology.  The Apple brand promise is we make it easier to love technology, so that you can experience the future no matter who you are.  Apple has done an amazing job in creating products that take the most complicated of technology and deliver it so that anyone can use it.  People criticize Apple for not being that leading edge of technology saying they just copy.  But they don’t get what Apple is about.   Whereas every other geeky computer company starts with the technology and forces consumers to figure it out, Apple takes that same technology and makes it so simple–whether that’s the iPhone  iPad or the Mac which have made technology accessible for anyone.   Apple knows how to tell their story, starting with the launch meeting–last week’s iPad Mini launch was covered for days in the mainstream media.  You could even watch it live on-line.  Apple has made great ads over the years, but they know how to work the media–whether that’s on CNN, technology magazines or through social media such as Twitter and Facebook.  Apple manages the Brand Experience to perfection–starting with the excitement of launches to the helpfulness of the genius bar to the out-of-box start-up of any of the Apple products.  As much excitement as Apple generates, they always seem to over-deliver.  Look how giddy people get over their iPhones and iPads. All these contribute to the Love for the Apple brand and generates a loyal following.

Using the Love to Generate Power

The 12 forces of a Beloved Brand map out how a beloved brand can leverage the power generated from being loved. A Beloved Brand with a loyal group of followers has so much more power–starting with a power over the very consumers that love them.   These consumers feel more than they think–they are e-rational responding to emotional cues in the brand.   They’ll pay a premium, line up in the rain for new products and follow the brand to new categories.   Look at the power Starbucks has with their base of consumers, making their Starbucks moment one of their favorite rituals of the day and how consumers have now added sandwiches and wraps to those rituals.  All day long, Starbucks has a line up of people ready for one of their favorite moments of their day.

Using Porter’s 5 forces, we can see that the love also gives Beloved Brands power over channels, substitutes, new entrants, or suppliers.   People rather switch stores than switch brands.  Apple has even created their own stores, which generate the highest sales per square foot of any retailer.  These brand fans are outspoken against competitors and suppliers will do what it takes to be part of the brand.  In Apple’s case, Intel has given them the lead on new chip technology.

Beloved Brands have a power over employees that want to be part of the brand and the culture of the organization that all these brand fans are proud to project.  People at Starbucks love working there and wear that green apron with a sense of pride.  Brand fans know the culture on day 1 and do what it takes to preserve it.

Beloved Brands have a power over the media whether that’s paid, earned, social or search media.  Apple generates over a billion dollars of free media via the mainstream media and social media.  Competitors complain about Apple getting a positive media bias–they are right, they do.  Even for paid media,beloved brands get better placement, cheaper rates and they’ll be the first call for an Integration or big event such as the Super Bowl or the Olympics.   Nike did such a great job with social media during the London Olympics that people thought they were the main shoe sponsor–when it was Adidas.

Beloved Brands have a power over key influencers whether it’s doctors recommending Lipitor, restaurant critics giving a positive review for the most beloved restaurant in town  or Best Buy sales people selling a Samsung TV.  They each become fans of the brand and build emotion into their recommendation.  They become more outspoken in their views of the brand. And finally beloved the Beloved Brand makes its way into conversation at the lunch table or on someone’s Facebook page.  The brand fans are everywhere, ready to pounce, ready to defend and ready to say “hey, you should buy the iPhone”.  The conversation comes with influence as crowds follow crowds.  This conversation has a second power, which creates a badge value.  People know it will generate a conversation and are so proud to show it off.  After all, they are in the club. All twelve of these forces combine to generate further power for the brand.

Using the Love and Power to generate Profits


With all the love and power the Beloved Brand has generated for itself, now is the time to translate that into growth, profit and value. The Beloved Brand has an Inelastic Price.  The loyal brand fans pay a 20-30% price premium and the weakened channels cave to give deeper margins.  We will see how inelastic Apple’s price points are with the new iPad Mini.   Consumers are willing to trade up to the best model.  The more engaged employees begin to generate an even better brand experience.  For instance at Starbucks, employees know the names of their most loyal of customers.  Blind taste tests show consumers prefer the cheaper McDonald’s coffee but still pay 4x as much for a Starbucks.  So is it still coffee you’re buying?

A well-run Beloved Brand can use their efficiency to lower their cost structure.  Not only can they use their growth to drive economies of scale, but suppliers will cut their cost just to be on the roster of a Beloved Brand.  They will benefit from the free media through earned, social and search media.  They may even find government offer subsidies to be in the community or partners willing to lower their costs to be part of the brand.  For instance, a real estate owner would likely give lower costs and better locations to McDonald’s than an indifferent brand.

Beloved Brands have momentum they can turn into share gains.   Crowds draw crowds which spreads the base of the loyal consumers.  Putting name Disney on a movie generates a crowd at the door on day 1.  Competitors can’t compete–lower margins means less investment back into the brand.  It’s hard for them to fight the Beloved Brand on the emotional basis leaving them to a niche that’s currently unfulfilled.

Beloved Brands can enter into new categories knowing their loyal consumers will follow  because they buy into the Idea of the Brand.  The idea is no longer tied to the product or service but rather how it makes you feel about yourself.  Nike is all about winning, whether that’s in running shoes, athletic gear or even golf equipment.

The formula for a Beloved Brand is simple: Beloved = Power = Growth = Profit

Apple has been able to take all the love they generate with consumers and transform it into a power that they’ve been able to drive into their P&L, with 25-fold gains in revenue, increases in gross margins and can move all their ratios into the right space.  As a result, Apple is now the most valuable company in the world.

Follow me on twitter @grayrobertson1

To read more about how the love for a brand creates more power and profits:


email-Logo copyABOUT BELOVED BRANDS INC.:  At Beloved Brands, we are only focused on making brands better and making brand leaders better.Our motivation is that we love knowing we were part of helping someone to unleash their full potential.  We promise to challenge you to Think Different.  We believe the thinking that got you here, will not get you where you want to go.  grOur President and Chief Marketing Officer, Graham Robertson is a brand leader at heart, who loves everything about brands.  He comes with 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke, where he was always able to find and drive growth.  Graham has won numerous new product and advertising awards. Graham brings his experience to your table, strong on leadership and facilitation at very high levels and training of Brand Leaders around the world.  To reach out directly, email me at or follow on Twitter @grayrobertson1


At Beloved Brands, we love to see Brand Leaders reach their full potential.  Here are the most popular article “How to” articles.  We can offer specific training programs dedicated to each topic.  Click on any of these most read articles:

Ask Beloved Brands to more love for your brand or ask how we can help train you to be a better brand leader.

111 thoughts on “Love = Power = Profit

  1. Graham, when are you going to publish all this good stuff in a book?
    I have to quarrel with two of your examples – Lipitor and Best Buy. Neither, in my view are loved brands. There are serious questions about the side effects of Lipitor. And Best Buy is, I believe, in the midst of a major store redesign because they are losing business and the store experience simply does not match Apple.

  2. Pingback: Go to War with Your Consumer’s Enemy | Beloved Brands

  3. Pingback: Ten Resolutions for Brand Leaders in 2013 « Beloved Brands

  4. Pingback: How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement « Beloved Brands

  5. Pingback: Ten Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time « Beloved Brands

  6. Pingback: How to Write a Brand Plan « Beloved Brands

  7. Pingback: How to Be a Successful Brand Manager « Beloved Brands

  8. Pingback: How to be a Great Assistant Brand Manager…and of course, get Promoted to Brand Manager « Beloved Brands

  9. Pingback: LEGO: Best Customer Service Letter Ever « Beloved Brands

  10. Pingback: Apple: What Goes Up, Might Come Down « Beloved Brands

  11. Pingback: Brand = Culture: How Culture can Help Your Brand Win « Beloved Brands

  12. Pingback: Is Blackberry ripe for a Comeback? « Beloved Brands

  13. Pingback: How to Run a Brand with the Brand Leader Front and Centre « Beloved Brands

  14. Pingback: Brand Management: Be a Great Brand Leader « Beloved Brands

  15. Pingback: 10 things that Good Advertising Should Do « Beloved Brands

  16. Pingback: Start a “Hate” page for your Brand, and See if People Show Up « Beloved Brands

  17. Pingback: 5 Ads that Will Make You Burst Out Laughing « Beloved Brands

  18. Pingback: Finance 101 for Brand Leaders « Beloved Brands

  19. Pingback: How to Manage your Marketing Career from ABM to CMO. Free Download « Beloved Brands

  20. Pingback: Keys to Being a Successful Marketing Director « Beloved Brands

  21. Pingback: The Top 10 worst types of Advertising clients. Are you one of these? « Beloved Brands

  22. Pingback: 5 Ads that will Give you Goose Bumps « Beloved Brands

  23. Pingback: Happy Valentines: A Love Story For Brand Leaders « Beloved Brands

  24. Pingback: How to Judge Advertising Copy: Approve the Good. Reject the Bad. « Beloved Brands

  25. Pingback: Ten Nike Ads that Will Inspire You « Beloved Brands

  26. Pingback: How to Build Your Media Strategy « Beloved Brands

  27. Pingback: How to give Feedback on Advertising Copy « Beloved Brands

  28. Pingback: How to Drive Innovation into Your Brand « Beloved Brands

  29. Pingback: Should Non-Political Brands ever get Political during these Politically Divided Times? « Beloved Brands

  30. Pingback: How to Run a Brainstorm Session « Beloved Brands

  31. Pingback: 8 Leadership Behaviors that Great Brand Leader Master « Beloved Brands

  32. Pingback: Finding Your Love in the Art of Being Different. « Beloved Brands

  33. Pingback: How to get an Assistant Brand Manager job « Beloved Brands

  34. Pingback: Top 5 Things Brand Leaders Should be Worried About « Beloved Brands

  35. Pingback: How to Fail as an Assistant Brand Manager « Beloved Brands

  36. Pingback: How to Get Fired as a Brand Manager « Beloved Brands

  37. Pingback: How to Write a Monthly Report? And why you should have one on your Brands. « Beloved Brands

  38. Pingback: BMW Films: Branded Content Light Years ahead of its Time « Beloved Brands

  39. Pingback: Ritz Carlton: Meeting the “unexpressed” needs of Guests « Beloved Brands

  40. Pingback: Be a Better Brand Leader by saying “Let’s cut to the Chase” more often « Beloved Brands

  41. Pingback: How to Write an Effective Key Issues Presentation « Beloved Brands

  42. Pingback: How to create a Brand Strategy Road Map « Beloved Brands

  43. Pingback: How to go Deeper on the Analysis of your Brand « Beloved Brands

  44. Pingback: A Brand Leader’s view of what makes a Good Advertising Agency « Beloved Brands

  45. Pingback: Can McDonald’s win the Coffee War? Not a chance. « Beloved Brands

  46. Pingback: What will Happen when Teenagers Leave Facebook? « Beloved Brands

  47. Pingback: 5 Great Ads Based on a Unique Consumer Insight « Beloved Brands

  48. Pingback: How to Analyze What’s Happening on Your Brand « Beloved Brands

  49. Pingback: A Powerful Vision Story: Dan O’Brien, US Olympian « Beloved Brands

  50. Pingback: Is Social Media is the new “Invisible Hand”? « Beloved Brands

  51. Pingback: How to Manage Your Personal Brand « Beloved Brands

  52. Pingback: Should Celebritities Tweet By Themselves? « Beloved Brands

  53. Pingback: How to give Feedback to an Agency so the work gets Better « Beloved Brands

  54. Pingback: 8 simple ways to be a better Brand Leader « Beloved Brands

  55. Pingback: Building from Porter’s 5 Forces, up to 13 Sources of Brand Power « Beloved Brands

  56. Pingback: What is a “Blowfish” Strategy « Beloved Brands

  57. Pingback: How to pick your ideal Growth Strategy for your Brand « Beloved Brands

  58. Pingback: How To Pick Your Ideal Brand Growth Strategy - Marketing Talent Inc - Marketing Talent Inc

  59. Pingback: How to write an Effective Creative Brief « Beloved Brands

  60. Pingback: How to create a Brand Strategy Road Map « Beloved Brands

  61. Pingback: How to write a “MINI” creative brief? « Beloved Brands

  62. Pingback: How to work the Five types of Media to your advantage « Beloved Brands

  63. Pingback: 10 Annoying Things that give Marketers a Bad Reputation. STOP IT! « Beloved Brands

  64. Pingback: The Microsoft Tablet Disaster was so easy to Predict « Beloved Brands

  65. Pingback: How to Think Strategically « Beloved Brands

  66. Pingback: What gets in the way of you loving the work you do? « Beloved Brands

  67. Pingback: How to run a Marketing Team « Beloved Brands

  68. Pingback: Best Tourism Ads on the Planet « Beloved Brands

  69. Pingback: What comes first, the media choice or the creative idea? « Beloved Brands

  70. Pingback: Why Can’t Brand Leaders Focus? « Beloved Brands

  71. Pingback: Emotional Advertising must start with an Emotional Brief « Beloved Brands

  72. Pingback: Six Key Principles of Good Analytics for Brand Leaders to Follow « Beloved Brands

  73. Pingback: “Wow Apple, that Sucked!” Now you are just talking to yourselves. « Beloved Brands

  74. Pingback: How to Prioritize your Portfolio of Brands « Beloved Brands

  75. Pingback: How Brand Leaders can get great Advertising: the ABC’s of Good Copy « Beloved Brands

  76. Pingback: Is Samsung a beloved brand? Not quite, but it’s really likeable. « Beloved Brands

  77. Pingback: When it comes to Social Media, here’s why most Brand Leaders still don’t get it « Beloved Brands

  78. Pingback: AMC: Transformation from a sleepy Movie Channel to brilliant Production House « Beloved Brands

  79. Pingback: Better Brand Leaders, make Better Work and drive Better Results « Beloved Brands

  80. Pingback: 10 Laws of Forecasting to help Brand Leaders be better managing their business « Beloved Brands

  81. Pingback: Five Ads that connect powerfully by getting on the side of consumers « Beloved Brands

  82. Pingback: How to write a winning Brand Concept statement « Beloved Brands

  83. Pingback: How good do your Brand Plans look for next year? « Beloved Brands

  84. Pingback: While CPG led the way on TV advertising, they trail dramatically on Social Media « Beloved Brands

  85. Pingback: New John Lewis Christmas Ad (2013), from the company that does the Best Christmas ads « Beloved Brands

  86. Pingback: Everything Starts and Ends with the Consumer in Mind « Beloved Brands

  87. Pingback: How to uncover and frame amazing Consumer Insights to help your brand « Beloved Brands

  88. Pingback: New Google Ad will make you cry, without understanding a word that is said « Beloved Brands

  89. Pingback: How generating more Love for your brand will make You More Money « Beloved Brands

  90. Pingback: Have your say: Is this Holiday ad cute or offensive? « Beloved Brands

  91. Pingback: Are retailers messing up “Black Friday”? « Beloved Brands

  92. Pingback: The most Beloved Ads of 2013, with story-telling dominating the list. « Beloved Brands

  93. Pingback: Captivating Ad about Working Women rivals Dove’s “Real Beauty” « Beloved Brands

  94. Pingback: The love and tradition behind the Starbucks Red Cups « Beloved Brands

  95. Pingback: 10 Things Brand Leaders should be do this week before the Holiday Break « Beloved Brands

  96. Pingback: New holiday ad from Apple will bring a sweet tear to your eye « Beloved Brands

  97. Pingback: How to lead a motivating Year End Review for Brand Leaders « Beloved Brands

  98. Pingback: Is your Brand Team good enough to achieve your 2014 goals? « Beloved Brands

  99. Pingback: So…what is a Brand? « Beloved Brands

  100. Pingback: Here are resolutions for 2014 that will Challenge you to be a better Brand Leader « Beloved Brands

  101. Pingback: Is Bose High Quality or Low Quality? Is Bose a Beloved or Hated Brand? « Beloved Brands

  102. Pingback: Brand Co-Creation: Brands and Consumers get equal say in developing a Brand « Beloved Brands

  103. Pingback: Why CMO’s are demanding more Creativity « Beloved Brands

  104. Pingback: Miley Cyrus six months later: If you’re over 22 you’re not the target « Beloved Brands

  105. Pingback: RETURN ON LOVE (R.O.L.): A new way to look at the power of Brands « Beloved Brands

  106. Pingback: That was not the Best Super Bowl…for ads either « Beloved Brands

  107. Pingback: 10 Ads that just might make you Cry « Beloved Brands

  108. Pingback: Confession: I Killed Two Doctors in 2006 « Beloved Brands

  109. Pingback: How to Win by Linking into the Consumers’ Need for A Life Change « Beloved Brands

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s