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Friday Five 3/3-3/7

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Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week:

Twilight of the Brands – The New Yorker

Are brands losing their power in the information age? We as consumers are overloaded with information, and as a result, we usually know what we’re looking for and how to find it, and ignore everything else in between. From the prevalence of customer reviews online to more discerning than ever consumers, this article brings up a number of questions that brands ought to be asking themselves.

Hackers set their sights on smartphones, tablets – The Age

This article sparks some interesting conversation surrounding the potential security issues behind wearable tech (from Google Glass to smart watches) and how consumers can stay safe while using them. Everything you wanted to know about the current state of cybersecurity, and what you should stay away from and be aware of, can be found in this article.

Retail Platform Creates an E-Commerce Site Out of Instagram – PSFK

Paytagz, a new e-commerce site, instantaneously hosts items users post on Instagram with the hashtag #forsale. For example, if I wanted to sell a dress, I would share a pic of it on Instagram, include the hashtag #forsale in my caption and list the price. Paytagz would then include the dress in its product lists and consumers could browse from there. Once a user chooses to purchase something, they simply send their shipping information to the seller, who then receives it along with a shipping label to streamline the entire process. With the recent rumors about Twitter merging with e-commerce platform Fancy, are we going to see a convergence of social and commerce more and more?

Are airlines right to change their miles programs? – USA Today

Loyalty programs definitely don't get much love these days, but this news that major airlines are changing how their rewards programs work raises some interesting points. Airlines are considering shifting from rewarding frequent flyers, to rewarding customers based on how much they paid for their tickets. This article raises some interesting concerns and gets you thinking about loyalty programs and their worth for brands these days.

How Brands Can Successfully Market Themselves at SXSWi: Be Useful – Mashable

This piece on Mashable has a cute take on brands focusing on user experience to drive engagement and interest from consumers. While it’s mostly focused on how brands are providing services at SXSWi, but it could be food for thought in other realms. “Be useful” is a good mantra for all brands!

Have you read any interesting articles lately? Share yours with us on Twitter @WalkerSands.