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.

Conversations this week explored what it takes in today's connected world to build loyal brands, including the key role of people and organizational culture, and the need to be different. Big Data also made an appearance, with a look at some of its limitations.

Cultural healing...
In today's connected world, a brand is no longer just a creation of marketing, it now comes down to its people.

The Key To Building Loyal Brands... explored the foundations of strong brands in this era of disruption, and showed why marketers today need to ask "Are we living the brand?" as well as "What's in it for the customer?".
Dear CMO, Your Best Marketing Strategy Is to Care More argued that if you are passionate about building a culture that drives brand advocacy, then you will get others to be passionate.
Creating Personal Connection in an Electronically Connected World provided great advice for companies on enabling their people to express their humanity through social media, and create personal connections with customers.
While Don't Be Fooled: Social-Media Consumers Aren't in a Relationship With You made the point that today's brand-consumer relationships are not balanced, with little forgiveness, zero privacy, and 100% conditionality. 

Show me the difference...
With so much choice now available, and barriers to entry falling, offering something different is more and more of a challenge - and a necessity.

What does your brand stand for?, from Seth's Blog, pointed out that a brand that stands for what all brands stand for stands for nothing much.
Why Your Brand Doesn't Need A Unique Selling Proposition urged marketers to focus on the difference their brand can make in people's lives as a source of competitive advantage, rather than trying to sell people on why their brand is different from the rest. 
Why Education is a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy: 17 Examples argued that brands should distinguish themselves as the leading educational voices in their industry, rather than just provide information about themselves, in order to build a trusted connection.
While Monsanto, Abercrombie & Fitch, And The Greatest New Threat To Your Brand: Your Customers examined these recent examples of consumer activism, and highlighted the need for brands to align with their customers around a shared set of values. 

Every breath you take...
Big Data may seem like a modern elixir, but it has it's darker side.

What The Hell is... Big Data? provided a great overview of the potential that big data has to offer.
Give Me My Data highlighted both the need for brands to build trust, and the opportunity to create value by helping customers with their own data.
The Dictatorship of Data used some interesting examples to warn of the inherent danger of data to mislead, if we become too obsessed by it.
While Putting marketing ROI in the driver's seat featured the CMO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud talking about how the science of ROI is shaping both marketing and the role of the CMO.

Finally, for something more to chew on, A Futurist Looks at the Future of Marketing served an interesting dish.