Instead, there is loyalty, which requires communicating brand values that people want to be affiliated with. Consumers today have many options, and more than ever they choose particular brands to communicate something personal about their own beliefs and priorities. The best way to establish and reinforce common values is to create content that’s so highly specific it defines not only the brand, but the customer. Take Chipotle, the good guys of fast food. Their produce is local, the meat is free of hormones and antibiotics, and their cheese comes from pasture-raised cows. But the company’s reputation for being the socially conscious, thinking person’s lunch is about more than just the food. Last year, the company started its “Cultivating Thought” initiative, in which writers such as Toni Morrison and Malcolm Gladwell write short texts that appear on the company’s cups and a dedicated microsite. The idea didn’t come out of the CMO’s office, or from a hotshot agency – it came about because Jonathan Safran Foer had nothing to read in Chipotle one day. This is loyalty talking, not marketing. Chipotle is devoting significant resources to something that won’t make the company any money directly, but that is an act of good faith, perfectly targeted to its customers. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review