The consumer of today ...
More than being opinionated and demanding, wants to be part of the "conversation".
"All markets", as we all know "are conversations". Exactly! The problem is that still today, brands only provide "one-way conversations" with their consumers. Today's marketers still think that by using advertising, you only need to craft beautiful positioning statements; shout USP's full of promisses and benefits or charm the target with aspirational images - in order to involve and engage the consumer with their brand and product.
Therefore and in the end, what we see is that brands are still "talking to", not "talking with" the consumers. Interaction, participation, shared voice, brand communities, learning, being part of ... that's what today's consumers expect from a brand in order to pay it back with loyalty and respect.
This is pure common-sense, it's self-evident. Unfortunately reality (in the majority of the cases) is not following the theory.
[Other debate sources: Cup of Java]