Traditionally, marketing people have spent a lot of time, energy, and money on branding. They want prospects and customers to associate their company with certain characteristics. The Internet, however, has pulled back the curtain on most businesses, and the prevailing marketing wisdom now is that your brand is whatever your customers say it is. You may want to portray your company as caring or quality-driven, but if the public sees you otherwise, and talks about you online—that’s your brand. It all comes down to the words used to describe you—and the words the public uses are far more powerful than the words you use to describe yourself.