Along with “social media,” another buzzword for the marketing gurus is “branding.” The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

That’s a mouthful, but looking closely it appears the key word is “differentiate.” That takes me back about 100 years. In college I wrote a dissertation on “Differential Advantage.” At the risk of oversimplification, it means everything you do should support how the product or service your company offers is perceived.

A high-end women’s clothing store should never have inexpensive linoleum flooring. A tour operator that specializes in moderately priced, value tours should never produce a catalog that would be more fitting for the Museum of Art. The product/service, price and promotion all need to work in harmony.