Wired has published an article on 'the decline of brands'. Something we see happening everyday. It's not that brands lost their relevance, but it's getting harder to build relevant brands through simple advertising. It takes more for a brand to be worthy of a premium.
"Marketers aren't completely deceived (or being deceiving) when they argue that customers make emotional connections with brands, but those connections are increasingly tenuous. If once upon a time customers married brands - people who drove Fords drove Fords their whole lives - today they're more like serial monogamists who move on as soon as something sexier comes along. Gurus talk about building an image to create a halo over a company's products. But these days, the only sure way to keep a brand strong is to keep wheeling out products, which will in turn cast the halo."