If you ran a restaurant and some of your entrees were made with the finest cuts and others were made with three-day-old fish, chances are you wouldn't stay in business for long.
If you were a ballplayer, and excellent as a fielder but a rusty gate at bat, you'd never ascend to the heights of stardom.
If you were a writer and some of your sentences were lucid and eloquent and others were meaningless and clunky, you'd never gain success.
Yet, in advertising, we daily engage in a two-tiered system of creative.
We have gleaming brand work--often the work we do for broadcast. Then we have other work--primarily online only, and this is often shrill, cheap and badly-produced.
The second kind of work is often deemed acceptable because, well, budgets are smaller and it is meant to reach a smaller audience.
What, too often, we don't account for is something I call the "denigration cost" of bad work. If a brand is an amalgamation of multiple messages and actions, then a message that cuts against the grain waters down the aggregate of the communication.
If thirty times you said to your better half, "I love you," and nine times you said "I hate you," chances are the relationship would be, at least, strained.
That said it seems to me that most brands do something similar. They're one thing in one channel. Something different in another.
The resulting confusion cancels everything out and leave the brand with little coherent meaning.