Trendwatch: Demanding brands

David Mattin

Screw 'the customer is always right' and 'the democratisation of the brand/consumer relationship'. It's time brands took the lead again. For years, we've all talked about the shifting relationship between brand and consumer. That shifting relationship has been defined by increasingly empowered consumers able to discuss, compare, rate and switch between brands at will, and demanding that they be allowed to be full partners, rather than passive recipients.

But now, ambitious, responsible brands are instigating daring changes in the relationships they have with their customers. These Demanding Brands are embarking on the journey toward a more sustainable, ethical or socially responsible future. And, crucially, they're demanding that consumers also make a meaningful contribution: whether it comes in the form of money, time or effort.