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.

With 2013 just around the corner, predictions took left, right, and center-stage this week. While some tried to frighten, some to inspire, and others were just down-to-earth, the central message was clear: doing nothing is not an option.

Be afraid, be very afraid...
Several posts warned of the forces of disruption that threaten to make traditional models in several industries obsolete.

Among them, Five Trends Driving Traditional Retail Towards Extinction explored how e-commerce is finding new ways to save consumers a trek to the local strip mall.
4 Things Media Companies Must Do ... or Die urged publishing companies to become hybrid media/tech companies, building unique experiences rather than just great content, if they are to survive.
While The Day Television Died - Winners and Losers argued that the current model of pre-programmed, advertising laden TV is not sustainable in a world of broadband access and mobile devices, with implications for brands, large and small.

Tomorrow never comes...
As several posts made clear, the changes that will impact 2013 and beyond are already here, if you care to see.

Among many such efforts, 20 Tech Trends That Will Define 2013 provided a useful, if eclectic, summary of those technologies that are just bubbling up to the surface.
Ads Will Be Articles & Vice Versa gave us a quick primer on the rise of content marketing and native advertising.
"Operations" Becomes a Key Word in Marketer's Vocabulary showed how marketers need to focus on operational leadership, as it now requires multi-faceted execution to flow great brand stories through the whole customer experience.
While A Brand Shift For 2013: From Aspiration To Inspiration demonstrated how great brands, in touch with customer sentiment, have already shifted their emphasis from focusing on what they can give, to what consumers themselves can achieve.

Talking sense...
With all this change, some good, practical insights were offered from leading brands and practitioners.

Target: Going Deep On Engagement interviewed the Target CMO on what it takes to build a meaningful multi-channel experience for their customers.
Walmart's Evolution From Big Box Giant To E-Commerce Innovator featured interviews with key Walmart personnel on how they're embracing social, mobile, and the start-up spirit to become a successful digital retailer.
While How Wegmans, Apple Store, and Ritz-Carlton Win Loyal Customers reminded us that one of the basic secrets of success remains as true today as ever, namely trusting your team and empowering them to do what's right.

Finally, with Big Data getting ever bigger, The Human Algorithm: Redefining the Value of Data made a strong case for investing in human capital, to translate data into actionable insights.

Have a good weekend.