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.

This week's conversations included the importance of culture, of being social, and of standing for something, alongside of course an absolute fest around JC Penney, sparked by the firing of their CEO.

Culture matters...

With customers increasingly experiencing brands in a multitude of ways, several posts explored the importance of culture in delivering a winning experience.

Shared Experiences demonstrated how it takes a corporate culture to deliver a consistent brand experience.
Watch Your Step showed how a brand's culture speaks much louder than its words, through its behaviors.
How to turn employees into a beacon for your brand urged businesses to engage their front line employees as advocates of their message.
While Hiring And Firing With The Company's Vision In Mind served as a good reminder that you need the right people and training, to create and maintain a great culture.

Let's be social...
Enabled by today's social technologies, the stage is set for brands to market "with" rather than "at" customers.

Customers Don't Want Ads, They Want A Conversation looked at the trends shifting marketing to a dialogue with customers or collaborative marketing.
Why People Love Social Brands urged businesses to create a shared sense of purpose with their community, by using social media to explain "why" they do what they do, , and included a pretty cool video to make the point.
How AT&T, Whole Foods, and REI Will Survive Social Darwinism: The Three C's of Social looked at how leading brands are weaving social into the fabric of their organizations.
While Marketing learns to speak the C-suite's language explored how social technologies, with the need to create engaging brand experiences, require marketing and services to move beyond departments and into the very philosophy of the business.

The primacy of ideas...
We may live in an ever more quantified world, but several posts highlighted that it's what a brand stands for that really drives success.

The Brand Arc urged marketers to remember that in a world of Big Data and cheap digital communications, the brands with the most equity are those with a strong story and personality that customers can relate to, explain, and value.
What Exactly Do You Sell? showed how the most successful retailers and brands sell a compelling, emotionally seated, and achievable idea that is both inclusive and highly desirable.
Warby Parker Co-Founder: Creating A Strong Brand Without Marketing provided a simple example of the benefit that comes from authenticity, and a compelling new solution. As did How a Start-Up Can Succeed in a Mature Category.
While Three Models of How a Brand Personality Impacts explored the competitive advantage that a strong brand personality creates.

Nobody said it was easy...
Among the out-pouring of advice and analysis around JC Penney, one lesson is clear: re-inventing a business is not easy to do.

The Reinvention Epidemic, posted prior to the JC Penney CEO's firing, explored why the need for reinvention has become so widespread across multiple industries, and why it's so difficult to do successfully.
Ron Johnson's 5 Key Mistakes At JC Penney, In His Own Words examined some of his basic miscalculations that were encapsulated in his reinvention strategy.
With Ron Johnson Out, What Should J.C. Penney Do Now? argued that most of his vision was right, but that the move to everyday low prices was a fatal mistake.
While Conversations Can Save Companies showed how successful turnarounds, in today's environment, require turning around the company's employee engagement and communication practices, to draw upon the immediacy of personal conversation.

Finally, if you're feeling dragged down by the knot of corporate normalcy, Rediscover Your Creative will get your juices flowing.