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 disruption still very much front of mind, conversations this week explored the benefits of companies asking themselves why they exist, the nature of power and influence in the social world, and the changing role of physical stores in retail.

Who are you...?
While strategy has always been a very rational process, focused on establishing positions or building capabilities, today's environment requires companies and leaders to identify and articulate why they exist.

Why Traditional Strategy Planning Needs a Makeover showed how leaders can become better strategists by engaging in conversations about the purpose of a company.
Forget The Mission Statement. What's Your Mission Question? offered five practical questions for leaders to focus a business around what it stands for and aims to achieve.
While When Big Ideas Are Bad Ideas examined why today the "big idea" has to spring from the the core beliefs and values of the company behind the brand. 

Of influence and impact...
With today's connected world, several posts explored the nature of influence, advocacy and impact in social marketing.

Influence vs Advocacy: Which Rules The Digital Kingdom examined these oft-confused terms, and argued that distinct strategies are required to cultivate each one.
Reflections on social media power and influence looked at where the debate around social influence, and the measurement of it, stands today.
5 Lessons For Social Marketing From South by Southwest provided a useful list of the key takeaways for marketers from this year's festival.
While Coca'Cola's Wendy Clark Defends 'Crucial' Social Media responded to a report from her own company that social buzz has no impact on short-term sales, by highlighting its role in creating a single, integrated conversation across a combination of media.

There's a place for us...
With the onslaught of online shopping, several posts looked at how physical stores could evolve as places that people still want and need to visit.

European malls move beyond shopping to survive argued that malls must become more like full-service community centers, offering a mix of health, education, and liesure activities, alongside shopping.
Find your happy place urged retailers to leverage the advantage that a physical store experience can offer, within a multi-channel approach.
How Big Data Will Save the Physical Store explored how a convergence of emerging technologies, that create vast new streams of data, could be used to make the physical shopping trip more relevant and compelling.
While Kate Spade Reinvents Retail As A Lean Startup showed how a bit of digital thinking, with iPads and a smart technology platform, has been used to create a radical new store concept.

Finally, How The Most Successful Brands Take A Peek Into The Future offered some good tips on how to catch the next wave.