2Brand Practices Faced with Augmented Consumers

A large number of current studies, reflections and analyses present the emergence of the Internet and digital technology as the third or fourth industrial revolution, or at least as a “historic event in progress” that profoundly modifies communication and relations between individuals, as well as the way of producing and consuming1. It cannot be denied that the Internet has changed our society and the role of individuals, particularly in relation to companies and brands. On the one hand, the behavior of the multiconnected consumer has never been tracked, observed and dissected so much, and behind the advent of big data lies the fear of an omniscient, intrusive and potentially dangerous Big Brother. On the other hand, the Internet and the tools related to digital development give consumers a new and incomparable power: they search for (and find more and more easily) information about products, brands and companies, seek the opinions of their peers and express their own opinions to them, exchange, trade, compare, evaluate, etc., and all this in near real time. This access to information and this ability to interact both with companies and brands as well as with other consumers and all kinds of influencers has greatly changed the rules of a game that has potentially become a little more transparent for consumers. Companies have, of course, adapted to the situation, have captured the interest of these new tools and practices and are ...

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