It’s embarrassing to admit it has been almost two years since my last post. I’m now inspired, and I can’t promise what will or won’t come of it. The world of marketing continues to evolve at vapor speed. Two years ago Instagram was just catching on. The notion of native content was foreign to most of us. And we still talked about the “awareness-interest-evaluation-trial-adoption” funnel. This model was old then, and today it’s prehistoric. Recent history (and in the discipline of marketing that means about a year) dictates we should be more concerned about the multimodal, multi-path, customer journey and not just getting our awareness (or number of FB likes) up. There’s no correlation between awareness and market share. It’s just the first stage in the “customer choice chain”. And they will make many of them all along their path to purchase. Few companies (mine included) have conducted rigorous analysis of customer choices across segments and markets, and what we can do to earn that choice. Part of the sweet spot in all of this is finding the “values fit” between your brand and your customers’ needs. Doing that well can turn that choice into conviction and that’s what moves the needle. So, on this first post in two years (the first of many more to come) I challenge you: How do you pay attention to what your customers are telling you about their values? Check out this great example from #converse that shows how they did it. Brand connections are found in all the right, and sometimes very strange places.