Customers must always be involved when developing a marketing or branding strategy. Yet many companies forget that. They think they can do it in a vacuum without the input of customers. When you do not care about your customers' opinions, you alienate them. Your brand story is flawed.
Keds does not sell shoes. They champion empowerment and make sure every story they tell is one they advocate. Their partnership with Kate Spade New York for wedding shoes is one inspiring brand story.