Two of my favorite marketing guys are Chris Brogan and Seth Godin. Both occupy space in my personal Rolodex, and both are brilliant.

I’ve picked on Chris a few times lately, while Seth’s been largely missing from these pages for a few months. Well, he’s back: a couple of days ago, Seth told a story that got me thinking, and you should pay attention to the lesson.

While my natural inclination is to be as transparent as possible and do full disclosure pretty much all the time, Seth points out that sometimes full disclosure can hurt you, hurt your customer relationships, hurt your marketing efforts, and had it been employed would have added nothing of value.

It’s mind-boggling, and if you choose to go this way, I implore you to do it carefully; most of the time you’re much better off saying what your intentions are and then delivering on those intentions.

But remember that perception is reality. Lula’s Apothecary might well be the most delicious stuff on the planet, but there are people who won’t consider a frozen dessert that’s non-dairy, vegan, or anything else that “sounds wrong”. So who says you need to tell them in the big macro-marketing material?

Business Change comes in a lot of flavors, and most of them should be some variant of “transparent”. But since perception is reality, remember that if it tastes like vanilla, it might as well be vanilla.
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