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Like great brands, they sit on top of high levels of respect - but there the similarities end. Lovemarks reach your heart as well as your mind, creating an intimate, emotional connection that you just can’t live without. Ever. Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a Lovemark away and people will protest its absence. Lovemarks are a relationship, not a mere transaction. You don’t just buy Lovemarks, you embrace them passionately. That’s why you never want to let go. Put simply, Lovemarks inspire. A Love brand is close to people, a brand we cherish. It is not easy to make a Love brand, you can’t simply buy it, you have to earn it. People have to love you because of who you are. This means that a Love brand has to be very personal, you must be able to impersonate the brand. Describe the brand as if it were a person. Develop a friendship with the brand, miss the brand when it is not there, when you don’t hear from it. If the brand is your best friend, you will choose this brand over others, the so-called acquaintances. So how do you create a Love brand? This is exactly one of the goals that José Antonio de Almeida Melchert, the CMO of Carrefour in Brazil and his team are striving to achieve: making Carrefour into a ‘Love brand’. Carrefour is one of the three main supermarkets in Brazil and continues to grow. For Carrefour, Brazil is one of their main growth markets, so they really set some ambitious goals to be achieved. So we meet with José in the Carrefour headquarters in São Paulo. He is the guy who is responsible for the marketing and communication of Carrefour in Brazil. José: ‘I joined Carrefour a year ago, to initiate innovative marketing activities. Be part of a global repositioning of the brand. I have been asked to make a change, to help create the Carrefour Love brand.’ Quite a challenge for a supermarket, but that is one of the reasons that José accepted the job, he needs a challenge. Lovemarks can be found everywhere but to connect with consumers three places matter most: on screen, online and in store. José : ‘One part of being a lovebrand, is that you have to be close to the people, really build a relationship with them. So that is what we started to look at. What kind of activities can we develop to achieve this goal?
We figured that the combination of our stores that people visit on a regular basis and television, would be a good one. Television shows play an important role in the lives of many Brazilians, so we started looking at the possibilities there.’ ‘Several years ago, Endemol came to Brazil with tv concepts. They are mainly known because of Big Brother, which is a huge success here. Now they have come with another concept, Ready Steady Cook. We have adopted the concept and renamed it Receita Pop, for the Brazilian market.’ ‘For this project, we have developed a multibrand concept. It is not only Carrefour, but our trade partners, the big consumer brands, are involved as well.’ In short, this is the idea of the TV show: Everyday a consumer is filmed while shopping at Carrefour with as much, or as little as R$ 20. The goal is to buy specific, branded ingredients. After check-out, the consumer and the goods he or she bought, are taken to a studio for the show time where a chef has 20 minutes to turn the ingredients into a final dish. ‘We launched October 18th 2010 and so far it is working well, many viewers on TV, lots of visitors on the website, positive feedback and the products of the sponsors that are promoted in the show and on the folders, do sell better!’ In fact, we could say that Carrefour has initiated a cross- or transmedia project. Different media are involved, television, folders, the stores, website, social media. The different media are used for different goals, the tv show to generate awareness, the website to exchange recipes, the folders to promote the products of the brands and get people to buy at Carrefour, etc. Furthermore, the project is not only related to Carrefour, but also to other brands and maybe even most important, to creating a moment. That is also the tagline of Carrefour in Brazil: “Good Moments Start Here”. This is a tagline that fits a brand that wants to become a Love brand.