Are you now filtered out? What Facebook’s new News Feed really means for brands

Facebook yesterday launched a significant refresh of its News Feed – the main way most people interact with content on the social network. The changes give images a more central role in the user experience (which makes sense as almost 50% of the content shared on Facebook is now visual). And there are now more options to tailor your feed – including the option to get updates just from your friends.

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Brands Count – Seen or Unseen

We’re in the midst of the busiest shopping season of the year, and lots of us will be shopping for stylish gifts. One of the choices we’ll be confronted with is whether to buy an item from a well-known brand or opt for a less expensive item from a store or cheaper brand.

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Brands Will Become Media: Here's How

If your company doesn’t have the below model in place a year from now, you may regret it.

You’ve probably felt it for some time, but now the roadmap is becoming clear—companies must build their own media empires. And if they don’t, they risk missing a window of opportunity that provides myriad benefits, whether it’s telling their own stories or becoming more efficient with the media dollars they spend.

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The Retail Organization of the Future

One thing’s for certain in retail today – it’s a brand new world. The old way of doing things just isn’t going to cut it. To be ready for newly empowered customers and further increases in costs, we need to think about – and operate – our businesses differently.

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The End of Brainwashing

Here’s a story within a story, and it begins and ends with my (mostly virtual) friend Brian Solis, author of The End of Business as Usual. Solis began things by posting a photo of my book on Posterous, tagging it as an item on his summer reading list. Solis then linked to that post on Twitter, which produced a small flurry of retweets and an interesting comment from Dan Miller, founder of Opus Research:

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Social Faux Pas?

When Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper ran a story on drug-addled porn actor cannibal murderer Luke Magnotta a few weeks ago, it used a photo of the guy holding a bottle of Labatt beer. The company objected, issuing a statement that the image was “highly denigrating to our brand” and threatening legal action if it wasn’t swapped for a non-branded shot. A torrent of snarky Tweets ensued and then Labatt retracted its threat.

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Whose Brand Are Customers Loyal To?

The question of brand loyalty sits right in the middle of the tug of war between retailers and manufacturers.    Are customers loyal to a retailer because of the brands it carries or because of the retail store itself?  Said another way – will a customer patronize any retailer that carries the brands she’s looking for, or will she select to shop at a particular retail store and be less concerned about the brands she finds there?

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Kraft & Kellogg’s Are Clueless

Kraft has rebranded its salad dressing as “anything dressing.” Kellogg’s “Project Signature” is intended to change the way consumers experience breakfast. Both companies are enamored with the ideas, emotions, associations and appearance of their branding.

And both companies are clueless.

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Consumers Do/Don’t Want Relationships With Brands

Do consumers want to have a relationship with brands?

On one hand, a research study published by the Association for Consumer Research says yes, and states:

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McDonald’s Metro: Lipstick On a Pig

If, as they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, fast casual restaurants should be flattered by the recent efforts of McDonald’s and other quick-serve restaurants.  Many fast feeders are trying to emulate chains like Chipotle, Smashburger, and Panera, since fast casual players have stolen share from them for the last couple of years and outrank them in customer studies.

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