It’s that time of year again: the SXSW Panel Picker is live and the session I look forward to presenting is called “The New Breed of Brands That Will Lead the Future.” With companies of all types facing a perfect storm of social crises, social technologies and customer activism, this session will come at the perfect time- so please take a few seconds to cast your vote!

Consider these following facts, as laid out in our recent infographic “Marketing 3.0: The Rise of Purpose-Driven Social Brands”:

55% have boycotted a company in the last 12 months because of irresponsible business practices. (2013 Cone Communications / Echo Global CSR Study)

54% of consumers don’t trust brands. (Havas Media Meaningful Brands Global Report)

53% would NOT invest in a company that does not actively support a good cause. (2012 Edelman GoodPurpose Study)

How quickly your company responds to these new societal and market challenges will determine whether you survive or lead the future. These challenges represent an enormous opportunity for brands willing to embrace new customer expectations, greater social responsibility, and scalable citizen and customer engagement platforms.

This proposed SXSW presentation will reveal the essential attributes of brands that will shape and lead the future and how they architect self-sustaining customer communities that will build their business with them. It will also show you what it takes to be a leading brand in a mutually dependent and intimately connected global community.

As always, the goal is to not simply entertain, but give you tangible takeaways that can propel your business. So if you’re wondering about any of the following, this session is perfect for you:

How do I define my brand and frame its story in a way that inspires employees and customers to build the business with me? Too often brands rush past the Story to the Telling, only to find that they cannot generate employee or customer engagement wasting their marketing efforts.

How do we explain how our sustainability, community giving and Foundation efforts work together in a way that makes sense to our customers? Without this, many companies simply broadcast their schizophrenia. If your marketing and sustainability efforts remain siloed on the basis of outdated organizational, budget, and marketing practices, you continue to run the risk of failing to meet marketplace, business, and customer demands that are the key to your survival.

How do I protect my brand against the rising tide of consumer activism? Today’s customers are becoming more aggressive and sophisticated in their attack on brands. How to authentically integrate your brand story within your company to withstand the new demands of radical transparency. Without this, those very same brands ambassadors can become vocal critics of your company accusing you of cause-washing.

How do you architect a self-sustaining customer community that uses its own social and mobile channels to ampifly your brand story? Without this you will never have the reputation or social impact your deserve.