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 new realities for marketing took center stage this week, particularly the importance of creating positive experiences, while a number of positive case-studies provided some relief from the travails of JC Penney.

Eyes wide open...
Several posts explored changing customer behavior, and how marketing needs to respond.

Crossing the New Chasm: Focusing on Addiction, Not Just Adoption showed how today's connected world has accelerated the pace at which mainstream consumers first engage with new products, requiring companies to deliver products in a way that translates into "addictive" retention from day one.
People Are the New Channel highlighted the shift from pushing messages to audiences through channels, to people pulling content in, and urged companies to focus on empowering customers to be brand advocates, and to treat the entire organization as the marketing team.
Understanding Customers Is Everyone's Job emphasized the need for collaboration across all functions of the organization, to deliver products and services tailored to customers as individuals, a key requirement in today's environment.
While 4 Principles of Marketing Strategy In The Digital Age provided some simple advice on how to succeed, in a world that now requires brands to build immersive and engaging experiences.

A matter of experience...
Without delivering positives experiences, there's now little chance brands will earn loyalty or advocacy.

The Dim Light at the End of the Funnel urged companies to invest in understanding the changing nature of their customer journey, so that they can refocus their resources on delivering engaging and meaningful experiences.
Are You Listening to Your Most Important Customers provided some good advice on approaching customer experience measurement.
5 Must-Dos in Designing an Emotionally Engaging Experience highlighted the emotional nature of experiences, and provided a useful overview of best practices in designing them.
While IBM, Ritz-Carlton and Yum! Brands Empower Front Line Employees... Do You? served as a useful reminder that it requires strong leadership to inspire and enable people to deliver positive customer experiences.

Four steps forward, one step back...
Following the outpouring around JC Penney, there were a refreshing number of positive posts on different brands this week.

How Jenna Lyons Transformed J.Crew Into A Cult Brand provided fascinating insight into the successful revitalization of this clothing brand.
Sephora: Department Stores Cannot Stop Its Global Growth looked at how Sephora has captured over 20% of the cosmetic and fragrance market in the US since its entry in 1998, by changing the rules.
How Costa Coffee Used Data To Drive Loyalty And Sales highlighted the success the ubiquitous UK chain has had using multiple sources of data to personalize communications, and drive its loyalty program.
While Amazon's Letter To Shareholders Should Inspire Every Company In America demonstrated what a customer-centric company really looks like.
However, Intel's dilemma and the slowly crumbling PC ecosystem did spotlight another incumbent brand, struggling with the forces of disruption.

Finally, with brand behaviors becoming ever more visible, Be on your best behavior! was an insightful interview worth watching, with behavioral expert Kare Anderson.