The Economist (Jan 15) includes "Logoland: Why consumers balk at companies' efforts to rebrand themselves."
The story mentions various "electronic lynch mobs" that form when loyal consumers take on a re-branding they don't want. Gap, Tropicana and the UK Royal Mail had to back off when they tried on new logos. The article mentions that "people have a passionate attachment to some brands."
Branding allows buyers to reduce risk and sellers to charge premium prices. Both sides come out ahead. What is so interesting is the sensitivities and passions involved. Branding was always high risk-high return, but never like this.
This morning's WSJ mentions that the Tunisian revolt took off when a grisly protest self-immolation circulated through Tunisia via Facebook. Regime change was never like this.