Opinions offer brands an opportunity to tap into the minds of consumers who now, more than ever before, demand authentic communication and transparency from the makers of the products and services they use, writes Tanya van Tonder. Access to social media has elevated consumers over corporate marketing. Armed with their smartphones, they have a powerful voice, which they’re only too happy to use. Consumers are unforgiving and vocal when companies let them down or run campaigns perceived as disrespectful, and often turn to social media to vent their disapproval. All of which makes brands more vulnerable to consumer sentiment.