Why Love and Trust Are Key to Brand Sustainability

In the following interview segment, Doug Levy, author and CEO of MEplusYOU, explains how love, trust and transaction are related. The full interview with Doug Levy can be seen HERE, in which he discusses his new book, Can't Buy Me Like. In the book, Levy tackles the changing marketing space, believing that companies must either adapt or continue to put blind faith in increasingly ineffective advertising. Levy also explains a new era that we've entered, dubbed the 'relationship era', and describes how this will change marketing for all companies, big and small.

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Brendan Byrnes: You cite the Brand Sustainability Map in your book. Could you talk about what that is, and some examples of companies that get high and low marks on that one in particular?

Doug Levy: You bet. First, companies are used to thinking about and measuring transaction; the degree to which people are buying from them.

They often talk about trust, but talk about trust in a way that's very different from our own understanding of trust. They talk about trust as a means to an end, a way to grease the skids for transaction.

I believe thinking of trust as a means for garnering more transaction is like thinking of a child as another tax deduction, right? It's more than that. The beauty of the Brand Sustainability Map is that it takes those two factors of trust and transaction, and acknowledges them as distinct factors that you can look at and measure.

You can look at some companies that do particularly well on that, like Target (NYSE: TGT  ) or Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) ; companies that maybe not everybody has such a strong connection to, or a love of, but at least some people do have a love of.

USAA is another great example of a company that isn't intending to reach everyone or have a deep relationship with everyone; they're focused on the military and military families, and they have love among that group. That would be in the upper right, Sustainable Relationship quadrant.

If you move to the lower left, Limited Relationship quadrant, you have American Airlines. American Airlines has had a slogan, "We know why you fly," which is such a great example of marketing B.S. It doesn't seem to enter into the way they make decisions or think.

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