Good marketing is all about making you stand out from the others – building a brand that is recognizable, unique and compelling. Why then do so many business owners insist on doing what someone (or everyone) else is doing?
For instance, how many times have you watched a commercial on TV and thought that it must have been written by, or stolen from, the same people who did an ad for a different company. You know, what I mean – it had the same feel, flow and concept as an ad you’d seen at least a month ago for a totally different product. Did it make you remember the new product being advertised, or simply recall the ad it seemed to be based on?
We all need to realize that a marketing concept that works well for one company or product, may not translate well for our needs; no matter how much we like the idea.
In some cases, it’s simply that what we end up doing is so reminiscent of the other company (like the example of the TV ad above) that we end up subconsciously endorsing another product and solidifying their branding instead of our own. Even worse, people might think of us as the company that can’t come up with original ideas and has to rip others off. Not the branded image I want to put in people’s minds.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to go with the flow of what everyone else is doing. Maybe we’re afraid to be left out or look as if we’re behind the times. Whatever the case, going with the flow doesn’t always work – remember it’s only the salmon that swim successfully upstream that manage to spawn the next generation.
I’m not saying that you have to reinvent the wheel every time. Inspiration is all around us and we should take advantage of it. The trick is using what inspires us in a way that is fresh and different. (By the way, sometimes fresh and different is just something your audience has never seen before; not necessarily something completely original.)
Your marketing efforts should reflect your branded message in a way that isn't reminiscent of some other company or organization. They should help you achieve your particular goals utilizing the specific resources you have available to you. That’s the way to be a marketing leader.