The Mystery in Love/Lovemarks

One of the 3 elements of a lovemark in theory is “mystery”. Dreams, symbols, metaphors, stories. Yep, I love stories etc. but let’s be serious about how it applies to the college marketing challenge.

Think about love for a minute. Does love revolve around mystery, or does true love grow with knowledge and emerging reality?

Blaise Pascal said “the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” So on one level there are mysteries involved in any decision of the heart. But Pascal also wisely said:

“Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling, do not understand the process of reasoning, for they would understand at first sight and are not used to seek for principles. And others, on the contrary, who are accustomed to reason from principles, do not at all understand matters of feeling, seeking principles and being unable to see at a glance.”

Sounds like love to me. Love at first sight is based on feelings, and when the mystery dimension is high the love feelings can feel strong. But as the relationship evolves, the mysteries are replaced with realities that often strain the relationship.

Which is why Madeleine de Scudery wrote: “Men should keep their eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward.”

How do 17-year-olds judge what college to go to? I think … I feel 🙂 … that feeling trumps reasoning for kids. How about their parents? I think that parents are more focused on the reasons.*

Yes, the reasons can be feelings. “The feeling of the campus”. “The friendliness of the people.” “Such school spirit.” But effective marketing involves being reasonable and analytical about those intangibles, and learning to maximize them.

What’s the best way to communicate those mysterious feelings? Clearly, through personality and feelings that show in a person’s eyes or tone of voice. Personal contact is supreme… but surely the creative and lively arts of music and cinema ought to be able to get those feelings across well too… right?

*If there’s any useful research on this I haven’t found it yet. Here’s one survey that doesn’t seem to shed much insight for me.

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One Response

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