Businesses have always had a disparity between their reality and their image. As a fabricated example, Andy’s Buffalo Wings were not particularly good yet they might have a huge billboard on I-95 saying “Andy’s – America’s Best Buffalo Wings” and people, based on this advertisement, might stop and eat these wings. Andy may not get a lot of repeat buyers. But Andy is still selling a lot of Buffalo Wings. In this case, the disparity between the reality and image of Andy’s Buffalo Wings is large. Yet Andy is still doing good business. Yesterday, this phenomena was not uncommon.
Today, with digital technology, Andy’s billboard would be the target of a seemingly endless stream of disparagement and insults. On Twitter, Facebook, and more, it would be made very clear that Andy’s Buffalo Wings was not the best Buffalo Wings in America. For the good and bad, in the 21st century, the disparity between the reality and image of a business has been dramatically lessened. With the advent of digital technology and the ability for consumers to have a voice, the face of business and marketing has changed dramatically.