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ImagePacking spoiled fruit with the good, imported fruit doesn’t make sense, obviously. A store wouldn’t sell Timex along with Rolex, because the Timex doesn’t make the Rolex look good; instead, it detracts from the value of the Rolex. It cheapens the Rolex.

And a store that sells only Rolex or Rado or Omega has more credibility than the store that sells all three brands. Why offer less than what you consider to be the best brand? That’s like saying, “Well, I think Louis Vuitton watches are best, but I also have Patek Philippe, Cartier, Breguet, and Tag Heuer…” Consistent, clear, concise marketing messages are meaningful.

A simple example of this in play is when I get asked to participate on an Advisory Panel with other consultants. In the past, the other “consultants” involved, among them, a conman, a pressure seller, a morbidly obese woman with less brains than a budgie, and a youngster with two years experience as a coach after “leaving” his job. I know I will be judged by the company I keep, and I am not “one of many.” You cheapen yourself and your service when you desperately accept “opportunities” like that. As a speaker, the groups you address and the other speakers at the same event also say a lot about your clients, your abilities, and your self esteem.

When you sell a variety of products or services, make sure you maintain your positioning and credibility by thinking through the reason why you offer the variety you do, and which brands make up that variety.

And what about congruence? A Chinese restaurant that offers Western items on the menu, Caucasians that lable themselves “Doctor of Chinese Herbal Medicine,” runners and cyclists who are decked out in their elaborate, ostentatious outfits but stop to smoke a cigarette, the man who fled Costa Rica with his family for fear that his kids would be kidnapped but now sells real estate there… think about it. Compromise is poison.

Your marketing message needs to be clear and pure in order to achieve its purpose. One doesn’t mix Coke with a single malt whiskey.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com

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