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I went to the Kenny Rogers concert on Friday night at the State Theatre.

Now before you start - it was fantastic. He was funny, the crowd loved it (admittedly I was one of the youngest people there) & he sang all his hits - The Gambler, Lucille, Lady, Coward of the County, Ruby and that old favourite of teenage jokes, Islands in the Stream - although sadly Dolly was nowhere to be seen.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, believe it not but the two people in the pictures above are both Kenny Rogers - before and after his recent facelift. No, I'm not kidding. Now thanks to my country & western loving parents I basically grew up on his music & so would recognise his voice anywhere, thus the man who sang on stage on Friday was definitely him - but only if you closed your eyes. He now looks so completely & utterly different that whilst I loved hearing him live, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't really get to see the person that I'd pictured in my mind.

Again, why am I telling you this?

Well, I'd been trying to think of a clever link with SBS but couldn't come with anything, when I then thought about the notion of authenticity.

It's not that I'm upset about him getting the facelift (it's his face & he can do what he likes), just that as a consumer, I felt that I didn't really get what I'd paid for. This happens all the time in business: you enter into a transaction, expecting to receive a certain outcome but then receive something else. It might be close, or similar, or nearly there - but just not quite.

So my questions for you are: how authentic is your offering & how do you flag/compensate for changes made to what people are expecting? With Kenny, maybe I expected him to at least refer to the fact that he looks completely different & yet it was never mentioned, as if nothing had changed. Not that this would have made a difference, but he would have shown that he knew it was on people's minds & thus acknowledged our expectations.

Ah well, at least I'll always have the autographed t-shirt.

Robbie