I liked his posting so much I was moved to ponder, then comment.
There is no way that anyone can perfectly explain this issue – but you have done a good job trying, and making it pretty clear. That is to say, I agree with your perspective.
To me, no one really "controls" a brand as much as they affect or influence it. A company's ads or literature put a spin on things. Then, a consumer's interpretation adds to the situation. In the end, what the consumer thinks and feels is their reality (your brand to that individual), but the collective consumer point of view becomes the collective brand. As we all influence each other, we affect and influence each other, and ourselves, as well as being influenced/affected by others.
Control? Doesn't sound like it.
Thank you for making your point. I like it.