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@Toby -- technology has also provided companies with more tools to follow through and show value. Transparency can also be sharing an internal process -- for example where is this customer's package? -- *with* the customer -- to check on your order, link here.

@Wendy -- companies are asking the question from the wrong attitude. It's not one more on a list of "to do's". It has become a different way we can do things. Customers are not asking us to give up on our brands, they are asking to be part of the conversation. I always find insights in your writing and the writing of others. We tend to see things more clearly when they are "distant" from us ;-)

Hey Valeria - what a great continuation of the conversation - both in your post and in your insightful readers' comments.

Geoff is right in that my post title is such a business-oriented question. It wasn't one that I think of frequently, but was surprised to hear it so strongly at the conference I attended last week.

And to your point, that marketers never controlled the conversation in the first place: Touché - you said it better than I did! :)

@Valeria - You bring up an excellent point .. technology has provided the means for customers to support (each other) and reinforce (opinions) on a global basis. This type of collective influence is rather like a "virtual march on Washington." Or perhaps we might say a virtual march on a brand? Thank *you* for adding another dimension to my thoughts.

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