Creating Loyal Brands : Themes Of The Week...

So much content, so little time...

A weekly round-up of the themes and posts I found particularly interesting or useful.

"The times they are a-changin'" pretty much flowed through everything this week: through discussions on how approaches to loyalty need to change, on how businesses need to re-organize, and through some interesting retail case-studies.

Loyalty matters...
In a world of heightened competition and transparency, where word of mouth reigns ever more supreme, earning loyalty from customers is more important, and more elusive, than ever.

How to Cultivate Truly Loyal Customers provided a good overview of the different types of loyalty, arguing that true loyalty, earned through customer satisfaction, is the only true long-term competitive advantage.
In the Fold observed that while loyalty isn't dead, traditional loyalty programs might be, using examples to show how customized content and discounts hold the key to the future.
How To Generate Loyalty On The Go explored how mobile provides an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen customer relationships, provided it is centered around building trust.
While Curiosity = Loyalty3 used an analysis of the massively successful Curiosity mobile game, to show how loyalty programs could be designed to be more engaging.
Finally, Why Customer Loyalty is Hard argued that in today's transparent world, earning loyalty has to start with the culture of your organization.

Being social...
While much of the initial excitement around social media has focused on engaging customers, the realization is dawning that it can change the very nature of organizations.

Social Media Isn't Just For Your Customers--It's For Your Employees, Too focused on the business benefits of using these technologies to create a internal social village.
Use Social Media to Build Emotional Capital showed how leaders need to focus on the emotional connection that social media creates, to establish a strong social culture, and achieve real business benefits.
Social Media Will Play a Crucial Role in the Reinvention of Business argued that social media can enable ideas from the edge of a company to penetrate more easily to the core, creating a more innovative, entrepreneurial organization.
While The Third Phase Of Social Marketing Is Upon Us: 5 Steps To Get Ahead argued that brands going forward need to focus on collaborating with their customers, bringing them up close and personal..

The reinvention of retailing...
With the current pace of change in customer behavior, several case studies offered glimpses of how retailing can adapt to the future.

Death by a Billion Clicks examined the pressures on Best Buy, and looked at the possibilities of transformation for big box retailing.
Gilt Groupe: Using big data, mobile, and social media to reinvent shopping offered fascinating insight into how this global fashion flash etailer has used these technologies to grow to a half billion in sales.
While Patagonia's Provocative Black Friday Campaign explored how this outdoor clothing and gear brand created leverage in the marketplace, by living a real mission.

Finally, with new marketing technologies seemingly appearing by the day, The Next Big Thing in Ads reminded us that all that's shiny is not necessarily gold...

Have a good weekend...