Book Review: Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands
I can completely relate to this loyalty. After all, I was a Crest kid and remain a Crest adult, I have a bunch of Van Heusen shirts, and there's a jar of Koskiuszko mustard in my fridge, right next to the Gray Poupon. Some of these products are better than their competitors and some are just traditional, but, at the end of the day, I have to admit that my loyalty is pretty much unexplainable. The same goes for my continued attraction to my betrayers. Although it's been years since I last ate a Big Mac or downed a pint of Ben and Jerry's, I still feel a pang when I walk past the golden arches or see the two Vermont hippies in the freezer case.
In many ways, reading Lovemarks felt illicit, as if I was peeking through a girlfriend's diary or scanning secret plans that were stolen from my enemies. After all, Roberts' rhapsodies on the power of loyalty and the manipulation of love aren't merely academic; companies make billions of dollars a year by playing with the emotions of shmucks like me. It feels like Roberts' book has given me the tools and perspectives to understand, and maybe even combat, the control that Madison Avenue exerts over my soul. Even if it doesn't, I'll probably think twice before I reach for another tube of Crest!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. A life without Kosciuszko mustard is hardly a life at all.