The secret recipe

“Secret Recipe” by Roslyn in Starfish Island on Flickr

Having a “secret recipe” used to be a viable business strategy. Coca-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and others could use mystery as a marketing tactic. It made their products seem exclusive, even unsubstitutable.

In today’s transparent, no-secrets-remain-secret-for-very-long environment, however, most of us can’t get away with this. Nevertheless, I hear people still resisting social media because they think the key to success is hiding the “secret recipe.” They think there will be nothing left for their customers to buy if they give away their knowledge and talent.

Actually, the opposite has become true: we’re expected to share what we know—including insider “secrets”—and if we aren’t willing to do so, a competitor down the road gladly will. The truth is, there is no longer such a thing as a “secret recipe.” The closest thing we have, in fact, is the willingness to reveal the secret recipe.

How are you giving away your talent and knowledge? Or are you still convinced that you have a secret recipe that deserves to be closely guarded?

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