Mediapost.com's Marketing Daily posted an excellent headline yesterday: "How User Reviews Are Gutting Brands"
Stanford University marketing professor Itamar Simonson is the recent co-author of Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information.
Simonson says brands won't die. Their functions will change. Much of this change will result from the use of online reviews. Customers read what other consumers have posted about a product before deciding which brand to buy. Marketers woud do well to heed real-time feedback on the products they promote. Customers trust each other more than anything a brand has to say.