Life was easier for brands in the old days. Prior to the rise of social media—make that internet media, period—a company could use its advertising to build and sway the perceptions of the consuming public. Dollars drove opinions. Today, of course, that correlation is out the window. Increasingly, how a customer regards a brand is a function of all the chatter out there: advertising messages, sure, but also news and buzz (good or bad) piped through traditional and social-media channels.