In this age of ever-increasing product parity and marketing sameness, people form their opinions of a brand based on all the things it stands for—its values, its point of view, its “beliefs.” In the past, companies too often assumed that conveying these beliefs to their audience was limited to what they could put in an ad or a clever tagline—everything else was just business. But as people’s media habits become more diverse, more sophisticated and more “real time,” they expect a brand to be a lot more than just an occasional commercial break. And they are forming their opinions of a brand not just from the things it says, but also from all the things it does in the real world.In the clutter of marketing messages, talk is getting cheaper, but brands that can bring their beliefs to life are adding more value to the lives of their audience.

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