Lead with your heart – not just in life, but in business too. For some of us, the idea of bringing emotions into the workplace is uncomfortable; a sign of weakness that devalues authority and undermines productivity and profitability. But according to Kevin Roberts, an eminent authority on leadership, brands, and the future of marketing, creating an epic, long-lasting brand requires less rational thinking and more heartfelt decisions.
Emotion makes people act, explains Roberts, the renowned executive chairman of global creative communications powerhouse Saatchi & Saatchi. For example, advertising needs to do one of three things, he argues: make you laugh, make you cry or make you think. In other words, it needs to engage people on an emotional level.
Roberts is the genius behind Lovemarks, a fixture in all marketing textbooks since he coined the concept and wrote the book – “Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands” (powerHouse Books, 2004) – showing how emotion inspires businesses and brands to deliver sustainable value. In the last decade, emotionally charged marketing has taken hold and is gaining momentum.
Emotional expectations of brands are on the rise, says Roberts. Consumers are asking, “How does this brand improve my life?” and “How do I feel about this company?” There is a thirst for authentic connections. And more than ever, people want to be involved in the story.
But emotion is just one element that “leads to love” – and long-term success. In an article published on Medium, Roberts outlines four additional imperatives for businesses and brands to thrive for the future.
- Be a creative leader. Winning as a brand demands a climate where creativity can thrive, where diversity is standard and where ideas fly in all directions all of the time.
- Be participatory. The more brands bring in their consumers, customers and partners, the greater the rewards that will flow back in. The new ROI is Return on Involvement.
- Be visual. People today are aesthetically adept; they process images thousands of times faster than text.
- Be fast. “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.”
- Be emotional. Emotion is the primary key to winning on the road ahead, and in the technological century the potential for a brand to deliver on heightened emotional demands is greater than ever.
You might also be interested in a recently published series of videos and accompanying articles by Entrepreneur, which profile Roberts and expound on his provocative theories, including one titled “Good Companies Make You Think. Great Companies Make You Feel.”