Can it be that this time last year the world (except for Wuhan) was enjoying the commercial benefits of the festive season and looking forwards to a bright new year!

Without a doubt 2020 has been a tumultuous and defining year for retail and other sectors, however the demise of the national department store sector around the globe has seen the accelerated decline of what was already an outdated concept.

With HoF, Debenhams, John Lewis, M&S, Sears, Nordstrom and others finally succumbing to the reality that simply stacking the sales floor with the same old same old doesn't quite cut it in today's digital and socially savvy multi-channel world.

The definition of what we consider as “marketing” has changed, and today it's becoming broader. 

No longer is it just about branding and advertising, marketers must work together with other departments to focus on building great customer experiences and engaging customers for long-term relationships.

The growth of online content has given consumers more power. 

No matter how much time or how many resources you plow into marketing, if your audience and customers don’t align with your key values, your success will be limited.

Company culture and brand are now merging and some experts already consider them to be synonymous. To put it another way, your branding and content marketing strategy can’t be separated from your company culture as a whole.

Employees who work in a trust-based company culture are 8x more likely to say they’re proud to share where they work, which helps to promote the company brand.

However, less than half of the employees surveyed for a global study say they have “a great deal of trust” in the company they work for. 

For brands to succeed in the new era of influencer marketing, where their advocates are their own employees rather than celebrities and social media personalities, it’s vital to build this culture of trust.