I just listened to the U.S. Presidential foreign-policy debate and had a revelation. The President repeated over and over—it was obviously his #1 talking point—that you have to be consistent in what you say and not change positions. I realized that I’ve heard this narrative before, and it was from senior, well-regarded marketing executives, emphasizing how you have to pick a short simple message and stay on that message and never waver. It hadn’t dawned on me that this conventional marketing wisdom for product launches and brand positioning would apply to foreign policy in wartime. The analogy is not obviously crazy. On the other hand, I believe that the conventional wisdom about marketing is, well, wrong.