As the purveyors of emotional connection, it’s quizzical as to why so many marketers seem intent on leaving consumers’ hearts on the table. More sign-ups, more followers, more foot traffic, more clicks … where’s the romance? The foreplay?

Whether it’s your target audience or one of your most fervent loyalists – consumers want to have an ongoing love affair with your brand. Anything short of that is a commodity. A one-night stand.

If their hearts are with you: their feet, heads, clicks, and choices will follow. But if they don’t absolutely love you, they’ll leave you as soon as something better or cheaper comes along. And it will.

It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

You don’t want Customers.  Or Buyers.  Or Consumers:  You want Lovers.

Lovers are everywhere – are you the object of their affection? Here’s a tip: the love you’re pickin’ up all depends on the kinda love you’re puttin’ down.

Prices, promotions, or even clever marketing tactics are of no interest to the Lovers. Lovers seek to align their identities with brands that resonate more powerfully than solving for an unmet, functional need. They seek brands that reflect their souls. When a brand’s authenticity syncs with a consumer’s self identity, a Lover is born.

How do we find our Lovers? By establishing a platform that allows for a consumer’s authentic self to be expressed through your brand.

Now, more than ever, consumers look to their brands to say something distinct about themselves and who they are, express what is important to them and, in some cases, even stimulate conversation on that topic.

It’s not what you’re asking customers to buy from you, but what you’re inviting them to buy into. It’s not your functional, concrete offering as much as it is your belief system. Are you a force of authentic expression that will attract Lovers?

Lovers seek brand “chemistry.” It’s the currency they trade in. A brand that can build chemistry is one that does not let itself be defined by what it does, but by its obsession. It looks forward, not backward. A Lover is drawn into your story not as a target demographic, or as one who needs what you sell, but as one who shares the dream, vision, interest, or curiosity. The obsession becomes inspiring to the Lovers and chemistry is sparked. This is the basis of a higher connection. Chemistry is all about capturing the hearts, not the minds. About turning products into friends, humanizing them to become a force of connection.

So ditch your Buyers and embrace your Lovers. Identifying and igniting your Lovers creates a powerful force that leaves no hearts behind.

See how Taco Bell, Trader Joe’s and Converse are luring Lovers:

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