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 explored some familiar themes: the spreading impact of disruption, the power of purpose, and how to use digital and social media effectively, to engage customers and spread the word.

Who's eating my lunch...?
Enabled by accelerating technological change and the resulting hyper-connectedness, the forces of disruption are spreading to industry after industry.

How you know when your company is being disrupted took a refreshing look at the major forces of disruption that are redefining the way business is done.
To Create The Future Of Brand Identity, Ideo Looks Inward explored how the digital revolution has led one agency to re-imagine the nature of identity systems for brands, to make them more human.
The Store Is Media And Media Is The Store argued that in the post-internet, post-mobile world of one click access, the primary role of a physical store will increasingly be to deliver a remarkable experience, rather than simply to sell product.
Getting Customer Feedback Better, Faster, And Cheaper showed how technology enables companies to listen to customers, at a fraction of the cost of traditional research techniques.
While Reset Your Expectations - It's the End of Big highlighted how technology is levelling the playing field, making it difficult for big companies to sustain blockbuster success, but creating "awesome" conditions for entrepreneurs.

Doing things on purpose...
Asking why your company exists in the world, and what difference it makes to people's lives, is not simply an act of altruism. It's increasingly fundamental to success in today's world.

Is Your Business Working On Purpose? argued that defining a clear reason for being can drive significant and meaningful change both inside and outside a company.
In Your manifesto, your culture, Seth Godin examined how defining what you stand for forces you to be clear about what's important and what you won't or can't do.
How To Become a Contagious Social Brand in 8 Steps looked at how combining purpose, storytelling, and social technologies can build a brand's reputation, community and social impact.
What do consumers want from brands? argued that people today expect, and may even demand, that brands play the role of cultural reformers.
While Authentic Brands Attract, and Deserve, Authentic Scrutiny warned that brands that stand for something will inevitably attract greater scrutiny, but urged them to embrace the criticism. 

Spreading the word...
Several posts examined how brands are using digital and social media, to engage customers and spread the word.

Sephora Reaps Rewards of Dedicated Customers, Fine-Tuned Service looked at how this speciality retailer has used digital and social technologies to provide their customers with a better experience.
The North Face: 5 Social Media Marketing Tips provided an instructive analysis of how this retailer achieves social media excellence.
How K-Mart Used Social Listening (And Some Nerve) To Create A Ship-My-Pants Funny Viral Hit examined how a promotion of this retailer's integrated multi-channel approach, a pretty dry subject, was turned into a viral success.
Does BuzzFeed Know the Secret? provided an interesting profile of a company built on the idea that you can create an environment for content to be contagious.
While Real-Time Marketing is Driving the Long-Term Brand Narrative looked at how brands should use creative content to connect with consumers around things they are thinking and talking about in real-time.

Finally, if you're weary of the never-ending onslaught of technology, Branding From The Insight Out argued that the next evolution for businesses is in fact about being human.