When did that happen?

'It is difficult to exaggerate how much has changed in terms of consumers' relationship with brands in the last few years. Everything is different now: from how brands are viewed, to the mechanisms through which we find out about them. When did the change really start? Let us ponder.

Was it the day in 1993 when Marlboro dropped its prices by 40 percent to compete with the cut-price cigarettes that were eating away at its market share, thus sending investors into a panic that lopped nearly $50 billion off the value of twenty-five top brand makers?

Was it when a nascent World Wide Web became a tool for instant swapping of info, enabling each of us to instantly see the truth about all available choices of product?

...When the TV market fragmented into hundreds of smaller channels, each wanting a piece of the viewer's time?

...When technologies like TiVo made it possible for viewers to avoid watching commercials altogether?

...When Enron and others collapsed in a stinking mass of deceit and consumers lost faith in corporations and what they sold?'

...When incomprehensible events on September 11 made us reassess values and beliefs?

Choose all of the above.

- Richard Laermer & Mark Simmons, 'Punk Marketing'.


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