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  • Could you ever trust a brand like you can your best friend?
  • Could you ever trust a brand like you can your best friend?
    Ben Barnes, Creative Commons (2011) ©
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Would you want a brand to be your BFF?

Digitisation is helping brands and their customers communicate, forming narratives and relationships. Whether it's Netflix taking its viewers to prom, or Anchorman's Ron Burgundy reading the regional news, brands are manifesting in the real world, disguised as human beings.

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“I don't want anyone else touching her,” explains 55-year-old petrolhead Jerry. “Most shops just don’t have the patience to work on a mid-engined car, but I know her and I know how to do it right.” [1] Jerry's might be an extreme example, but when it comes to material possessions and brand affiliations, the relationships people form with them – as with other human beings – are emotionally driven.

Research shows that the inanimate objects we hold nearest and dearest tend to hold some symbolic relevance to the people that populate the narrative of our ...

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