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Does it only take 36 questions and looking each others’ eye for about 4 minutes quietly for two people to fall in love with each other head over heels?


Looking at the article of Arthur Aron & colleagues that was published in 1997 ‘’The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness’’, it does seem to be the case.


The experiment in question took place in the New York State University in the class of the afore mentioned psychologist Arthur Aron. Students who did not know each other before then were grouped in two’s and were handed a list of questions. After answering the questions and 4 minutes of soul searching in each others' eyes, they all confessed that they felt a tangible closeness to each other. Between them two actually got married after 6 months.  


Some of the questions are quite general. ‘’When was the last time you took a long walk? Could you tell me were did you walk to and what did you see? ’’ And so on. Some are much more private, like, ‘’Losing which member of your family would cause you the greatest sorrow? ‘’


It seems to appear that closeness between two people is related to their knowing each other. Sharing experiences, thoughts and feelings greatly enhances it. The most important factor, though, seems to be to share not only ones’ strengths, but also the weaknesses.


Transparency seems to do the trick.


In the last 30 years the marketing world also is after ‘’closeness’’ between brands and clients. All the marketing groups are bending over backwards to find ways create to ‘’Lovemarks’’ .


Could the logic in the Aron’s article be made to work to create an intimacy between the brands and their clients? Does a brand's closeness to its clients means sharing the same feeling, thoughts or experiences?


If this were to be the case, the first thing the brand managers need to do is to ask the consumers at least a few of these famous questions. And also to share their brands' story, identity, successes, and last but not least, it's weaknesses. In a few words, to be transparent.


Like the marketing director of McDonald's Canada explaining, on television commercials, no less, why their burgers in their restaurant look different from the ones shown on the screen or the marketing director of Burger King Turkey admitting that their potato chips not being as good as they should be on tv.

So, what if you are not getting any further on the way of becoming a lovemark?

Most probably, this is related to the fact that you did not ask or answer any of these 36 questions.

Transparency and Love in 36 Questions

11 July 2016 / Dr. Engin Baran

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