The 10 building blocks of lovability
April 26, 2017

The 10 building blocks of lovability

by Brian de Haaff

Rave reviews are unusual. For good reason. This kind of adulation is only reserved for the truly outstanding. Even artists who refine their craft for years may not be recognized for their genius during their lifetime — if ever. Product builders can find a lesson here. Complaints come fast and easy. Adoration, not so much.

Customer love is only something that you can build over time. And no matter what you are building it does not come easy.

As I explain in my new book Lovability — which is a #1 bestseller on Amazon you can determine where your product is on the journey to customer love by using my new lovability pyramid (see below) and assessing what I call the “10 building blocks of lovability.”

Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book — an in-depth look at each of these building blocks.

—The following is an excerpt from Lovability.—

Ten building blocks of lovability

Hope, Satisfaction, Care, Confidence, and Trust are your foundation. You cannot have lovability without them. Scale, Sustainability, Motivation, Fun, and Halo are required to earn the kind of passion and lifelong loyalty achieved by the world’s top brands.

Blog - The 10 Building Blocks of Lovability - inline image


Stage one. Utility begins here. Your product represents the prayed-for end to the customer’s long search for something, anything, that might solve their problem or meet their need. Marketing or word of mouth has led them to you, and before they have even used your product, they are hoping that it will fill their long-standing need.


The customer has tried the product and it has delivered as promised. The customer is not in love yet, but they are happy that your product did what your marketing said it would. Satisfaction is transitory, however. In the early stages, your product needs to perform as advertised every time or the customer will quickly become disillusioned and look elsewhere.


The Complete Product Experience (CPE) takes shape. This is where customer support steps up to elevate things from a mere transaction to a relationship between your company and the customer. Especially on the first occasion that the customer reaches out with a problem or a question, they should find an absolute commitment to being the solution and creating delight. For this to happen, there must be a strong, clear “why” behind the work you do.


Stage two. Growth begins. A meaningful partnership between you and your customers starts to develop. Based on the performance of your product, a quality CPE, and your company keeping its promises, customers begin to be confident that your company will be there when they need you. In other words, they believe you have their back at all times. Trust has begun to form.


Customers are not just confident in what you do, they believe in who you are and that you stand for the values that you espouse. They have dropped any last cynicism and skepticism and really buy into who you say you are. This is the pivotal stage called The Lovability Line, where customers become more emotionally invested in your company and products and judge you less on empirical factors and more on emotional ones.


Customers are amazed that new versions of your product always seem to anticipate their future needs before they know what those needs will be. This is the “wow factor” that makes customers use words like “magic,” wins loyalty, and leads to world-class brands.


Your culture, attention to detail, care for your team, and clear purpose behind your work breed longevity of your company and the people who create the lovable CPE. Customers trust that your company will be doing well a year from now and 10 years from now, still delivering quality products and a wonderful CPE. It’s this quality that makes them comfortable committing to your cause 100 percent and also referring other individuals and businesses to you.


Stage three. Inspiration begins here. Customers feel that your product makes them better than they were without it. Perhaps it gives them capabilities they would not have, helps them be more productive, or serves their creativity.


Your product helps your customers enjoy what they do more — whatever it is. This is less about pure fun — though there is nothing wrong with that — and more about helping people achieve what they truly care about and enjoy the journey. Your products help your customers breeze through the parts of their work that they love doing and make the less desirable parts more tolerable.


Using your products makes your customers look awesome in front of their peers, superiors, or friends.


What signs of lovability do you see from your customers?

Aha! is a trademark of Aha! Labs Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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