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I don’t believe in hidden gems.

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Sure, they exist, in the way that you might stumble across a perfect B&B one evening in pouring rain when you decide to stop driving against the elements and relax. Or the most amazing moisturiser you find in the chemist in a Spanish town square because you forgot to pack your usual. Or a wonderful local way of cooking pork in a burger van on an Umbrian market place. Yes, those hidden gems exist.

The hidden gems that do not exist are the ones that declare themselves as such in marketing materials.

What I know, when someone dubs their product or service a hidden gem, is ‘undermarketed’.

By which I don’t mean underspent, I mean ill considered.

It’s entirely possible – in this world of facebook advertising, bloggers, meritocratic speaking opportunities, social media, on line stores and papers keen for news – to make yourself known without a Diageo budget. But you have to be clear about what you represent, to whom, where those people are, and project a compelling message via a well planned communications process.

Of course, sometimes hidden gem might, unwittingly, simply mean unpopular. But that’s for owners and the market to decide.

If the product is right and its audience is clear, ‘hidden gems’ really should be taken off the web, out of brochures and out of the press, and consigned to their rightful place in country lanes and market places.

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