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For Immediate Release by Ronn Torossian

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| CHAPTER 5 |

AUTHENTICITY—YOUR PERSONAL CALLING CARD

Don’t Try to Be Something You’re Not

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.”

—W.H. Auden

In a 12-month period, a major discount retailer started a new fashion line, initiated a renovation of 1,800 of its stores, overhauled its advertising to focus less on the promise it is best known for (price) to focus more on style (something it’s never been known for), rolled out a $4 generic drug program, ended its layaway program, and imposed wage caps on its workers—among a host of other changes. The year was 2006; the retailer’s stock shares dipped 5 percent and store sales rose only 2.4 percent, half as much as ...

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