The Smarter Consumer
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Overview: Who defines a brand's identity? Ask that question twenty or so years ago and the almost universal answer would be that a company sets its own agenda in terms of brand values and attributes. Of course, the company would need to live up to the values it ascribed to itself but, provided it did that, life was relatively smooth.
Nowadays, the answer is nowhere near so clear cut. Certainly, companies do try to set their own agenda but, today, normal consumers can challenge, question and even destroy the reputation of brands. The difference between twenty years ago and now, is, of course, the internet. The ease, immediacy and reach of the online world has empowered everyday people: it has given them a communications platform that the corporate world of twenty years ago could only dream about.