In a corporate culture in which change is the only constant, retailers face the special challenge of adapting to persistent flux in consumer attitudes and behaviors. In other words, it is time to get creative and be wiling to adjust the marketing sails as social needs demand.

That is why Starbucks, for example, announced in the spring of this year a change in promotional tactics. Admitting that its focus has become “too short term,” the coffee superstars are redirecting their energies toward what it calls, “more personalized promotions.”

With direct digital contact and one-to-one offers combined with an emphasis on products with broader appeal, Starbucks’ efforts reportedly yielded modestly increased second quarter profits. Other business owners and CEOs are using similar connection-centered efforts by leveraging the power of community events and even getting involved in local charity organizations, and not just with dollar donations.

Event marketing and pop ups are increasingly popular tools in the retail space because they lend a creative freedom and recognize the power of experiential marketing to drive sales.

As in the one-to-one efforts of Starbucks, retail and community events likewise encourage brands to be human in an increasingly digitized world. Risk is inherently a part of advertising and marketing and companies like Nike have decided sometimes making a splash, even if it means taking significant backlash is worth it. The sports apparel company’s new ‘Just Do It’ campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Creativity is key to positioning a business in the best possible place among its competition, and in a world where advertising can be done in so many different, organic and inexpensive ways, even the giants like Starbucks and Nike are having to stay aggressive with unique and original ideas.