This is probably going to become a multi-post series, but this story from the WSJ (apologies if it's behind the pay wall) reminded me of this belief I have: WSJ.com - Mixing Diet Coke and Mentos Makes a Gusher of Publicity. A brand isn't just yours. It's your consumers'. It's the people with knowledge of you, those who want to talk about you, to bash you, to praise you, to improve you. It's your partners', your suppliers' and your employees'. Companies are going to understand this in varying degrees and with varying speed, but those who get it sooner, rather than later, will benefit from that knowledge. Share your brand and learn from all of the other owners instead of trying to ignore their influence.
If you didn't get to read the article, it basically is discussing the viral growth in videos depicting the chemical reaction of Mentos and Diet Coke. Apparently, this combo results in a rather explosive spray of the soda and people have been experimenting with recording that and posting it online. Perhaps the most elaborate one is below, from a site called Eepybird.com: