Brand Immunity: papa don't preach

Following up on my earlier post on decentralization and consumer apathy, a thought from John Winsor's Beyond the Brand:

    "Branding has been appropriated as a distorted form of communication in which the company always assumes the position of power and is not necessarily required to either listen or respond to feedback.

    People are expected to sit quietly and listen; many react to this by tuning out much of what is said. They are developing a Brand Immune System: the reality is that people will only pay attention to your brand or your product when they actually need or want your product or service � not before, and usually not after.

You may have prepared a beautiful brand identity kit, complete with creative brief, custom cardboard box, colour swatches, sample logo applications and multi-format graphics files, but how are you actually building a relationship with your customer or stakeholder?

Let me rephrase for a public relations staffer: what steps are you taking to learn what is on the mind of your engineers, salespeople, the people who live around your new plant, your big customers, small customers, new customers, ex-customers?

Sending out pretty pieces of paper by FedEx will not prompt dialogue or create a conversation.