Brands have never been more important than they are today. Consequently, brands are under more pressure than ever before. Age, religion, and geography are boundaries that no longer hold a monopoly over defining communities — brands have risen into that echelon to play the role of uniter.

Brands hold values that connect people emotionally, and they create virtual spaces and real-world places for those people to gather. This presents a unique opportunity for modern brands to live in people's daily lives in unique and meaningful ways. To achieve this, marketers must shift the way they assess brand health.

The gears for engaging with consumers need to change from pushing to attracting. Brands that go beyond building awareness to drive cultural currency have the ability to create meaning in people's lives and business success for the brand.

As brands balance the pressure to be a unifying factor in people's lives and the freedom to express and uphold a set of values, marketers must ask themselves what it is that makes or breaks a brand today. What must marketers do to create brand experiences that not only connect their brands to people, but enable people to connect to one another and their communities?