Imitation vs Differentiation

Imitation vs Differentiation

“What is our competition doing?,” asked the CEO when presented with new branding and marketing concepts.  He was asking because “if it’s good enough for them….”  He was looking to be like everyone else in the category.  Why?  Because it’s safe.

The problem: Differentiation makes a brand stand out.  Imitation means you’re another ‘me too.’  But ‘me too’s’ are safe.  Easy.  And no-one ever got picked on for being a ‘me too’ brand.

LOCC believes that no one ever got picked for being one either!  We believe in the unconventional.  The thing that stands out.  Different for different sake is just that – and readily transparent.  Being truly different – to your core – means standing for something to stand out about.

 When everyone else around the table looks the same, you have a divine opportunity to fit in but stand out.  It’s a unique balance and one that resonates best when it manifests in more than just talk.

Jet is doing what Amazon does, but its marketing focuses on happiness – of its customers AND its employees (antithesis of what we hear about Amazon).
U by Kotex won global acclaim and multiple awards for its ‘Real Talk’ campaign about feminine hygiene.  It was honest.  For some, it was even affronting.  But it was REAL and it connected.
H&M is a venerable Swedish retailer whose global export was ‘fast fashion.’  Its popularity fueled by low-priced, fashionable clothes that were never meant to last.  It created a new retail segment – quickly followed by Forever 21, Mango, Zara and others.
Doing something different risks being criticized.  But as Aristotle said, “he who was never criticized never tried anything new.”

Leader brands do leader things.  Is your brand leading or a working hard to be a me-too?