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.

There were a lot of interesting examples used this week, to explore how companies and customers are beginning to work together, how emotions are the real drivers of customer behavior, and how big data can create real value.

Let's get together...
The hype around social media has focused a lot around recruiting and engaging customers, to spread the word among their social networks. However, several posts this week argued instead that the real power comes from enabling companies to collaborate directly with their customers.

Co-Creation: The Real Social-Media Revolution used the example of Burberry to demonstrate how employee and customer interactions can build a kind of bottom-up community marketing, that guides the brand itself.
When Co-Creation Becomes The Beating Heart Of Marketing, Companies Win shared examples of how big and small brands alike are engaging customers in creating their marketing content.
While Is Crowdsourcing The Right Choice For Your Business? offered some good advice on how to decide the right approach to use.

I get so emotional...
While business generally appears a very rational pursuit, several posts reminded us that customers are people, and people are primarly guided by feelings.

Research--You're Doing It Wrong argued that rather than relying on traditional research, marketers must look to unconscious behavior for real creative breakthroughs.
The Economics Of Emotion looked at several new techniques that are making it easier to understand the impact of emotion on customer behavior, and to take action on the results.
While How Does Your Store Make You Feel...? explored the key emotional drivers behind a customer's choice of grocery store, and how to connect those emotions to the day-to-day operations of the business.
However, Great Marketing Is Utilitarian served as a good reminder that a brand has first to be useful to a customer in some way, to earn it's right to exist.

Sniffing the digital dust...
Another week, and more discussion on Big Data, as marketers, and indeed businesses, seek to get their mind around what it means to them.

Seven ways for marketers to respond to big data provided a good checklist for marketers, to ensure it's properly prioritized  and used to create value for customers.
Big Data and Advanced Analytics: Success Stories From the Front Lines used four different examples to illustrate how companies have delivered greater impact from their marketing efforts, through advanced analytics.
While What a Big-Data Business Model Looks Like highlighted three main approaches for using big data to create new business models.
However, Big Data Is Not The New Oil offered a sobering reminder that big data is personal data, and needs to be seen in a human context, rather than simply as a mineral resource, to be extracted and refined.

One final thought, it may have been a "connected' world for some time, but as Social Media as the Next Web ably demonstrated with data, it's fast becoming a "social" one as well.

Have a good weekend...