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Chickens coming home to roost
One thing about running a business is it does gradually ramp up the junk mail -- and nobody is being more assiduous about that than Comcast Business, who are hitting me with come-ons around once a week. (Today's was an envelope designed as a fake-out, to look like there was a check for $800-some-odd inside. Did make me curious enough to open it before throwing it out.)

But I can only think, "Seriously, dudes -- you have a long-earned reputation for having the worst customer service in the world. Why would I do something so irresponsible as to use you for my business?"

There's a lesson here, about branding. Building a brand is a two-edged sword. A good brand can open doors for you in all sorts of ways. But if you go tarnishing your brand with one product, don't expect people to ignore that when you're trying to sell them another.

(And yes, this is a lesson I've specifically taken to heart for Querki. Indeed, there are ways in which my entire business plan is built around it, although that's very long-term...)

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The sad thing is, Comcast Business is actually quite good. Not that I use them, but a large number of my coworkers do. They all agree that the non business Comcast sticks rocks, but say business class is pretty good.

Doesn't entirely surprise me, but that just underscores my point: when you treat one end of your brand badly, it's going to drag down the parts of the brand that you *are* handling well.

It's a simple corollary of the reasons why marketers care so much about branding -- the whole point is that, if you have a good brand, it'll help your business broadly, not just with one product. I'm bemused about how many companies fail to realize that it cuts the other way...

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