There is an on-going debate on who owns brands. There are some who argue that the company that created a brand is its owner, fully in command of it. This is the formal straightforward view. However, support grows for the claim that customers are the true owners of a brand.
Essentially, a brand is still the responsibility, and in the authority of the company that created and established it in the market, being its legitimate or lawful owner. Yet, customers who are more engaged with brands do have greater influence on the brand’s offerings and actions taken in its name. The voice of the customer, expressed through different channels, is more present and impactful.
Therefore, it could be said that although customers may not own a brand, the authority of the company that owns it has been reduced, relinquished in part to the hands of its customers.