I found myself in multiple conversations about the updated US Center for Disease Control Covid guidelines that emerged in August 2022. The crux of each conversation was that the CDC appears to be calling into question the preventative tactics that it had been recommending so strongly. People characterized the positioning as the CDC acting as if its previous admonitions were not relevant, even when they issued them initially.

Then, a well-known marketing guru, who has always been at the forefront of touting entrepreneurship and every new technology and business model as the silver bullet to success, sent an email extolling the benefits of becoming a salaried senior executive. Because, why would anyone be anything but an employee with a regular check, especially since that’s what he’s doing now?

Each instance felt like the organization or person selling against what they had been selling hard, right up to the point that they changed what they were selling.

These messages reminded me of great advice from a strategic mentor: never sell against what you’ve been selling before. Why? Because when you do that, it makes your brand look silly. Even worse, it can make your buyers feel foolish and like they’ve been duped.

11 Ways to Avoid Selling Against What You’ve Been Selling

When you do make improvements or need to necessarily modify your direction or message, how do you position the change?


Based on these two instances and others where I’ve had to challenge people doing this in business, here are eleven starting points for positioning change without selling against what you’ve been advocating and doing:

New and Different

  • New opportunities have opened up to do more
  • We’re always focusing on introducing new information / products / ideas right away, then adjusting as necessary
  • We’ve gained access to different resources


  • We have additional information / insights / learnings that allow us to advance what we do
  • There are varied needs and interest in the marketplace, and we’re introducing more options to address additional preferences
  • We’ve invested to offer more value / benefits to you

Moving Ahead All the Time

  • We’re excited to be able to innovate for you
  • We are continuing to disrupt what we do to improve
  • We are always challenging ourselves to grow / provide greater value
  • It’s important that we are always looking for new options / possibilities to share as soon as we have them ready
  • Since identifying and moving on trends early is vital, we’re offering this new relevant information / product

Figure out which of these positions (or others) provide your best basis to communicate change without selling against all the things you used to (or still may) be doing.

Speaking of Change, Brainzooming Is Changing Some Things

We get lots of questions about exactly what Brainzooming is and does. We are in the middle of updating our website to provide greater clarity about:

We take our own advice, and as we’ve changed our website host, we’re thrilled to be able to offer greater clarity about how we might be able to help you!

Drop me a note if you have any thoughts on the changes or if you’d like to chat about any areas where you are looking for ideas– Mike Brown

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