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This article examines how societal shifts resulting in a better-informed consumer are changing the nature of the customer-brand relationship as well as the nature of branding building. As the importance of nonmarketing touchpoints such as customer service departments and the actual in-store experience continues to increase, marketing is challenged to step beyond its traditional role to prove its value in generating business growth. Toward achieving this end, marketing must respond to three key challenges: the ability to maintain superiority, the need for achieving returns with fewer resources, and finding ways to manage the expanding complexity of today's customer touchpoints.
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