Brands: be yourself—everyone else is already taken

easter bunny copy catCUOscar Wilde famously wrote these words to individuals. Branders should take heed as well.

Are you borrowing from another brand’s unique positioning?

flattery, insult or stealing?
The fashion industry is full of outright ripoffs. Originators are working hard to educate the public about how to spot the imposters and why it’s important to say no to fakes. (Clue up: it’s stealing.)

But others in the business world co-opt the work of others, too. If your brand is doing things “inspired by” others, you could be infringing on their intellectual property: processes and systems they’ve developed over time.

it's not yours, and it's not flatteringeaster bunny copy catThis cat is trying too hard. A brand looks just as silly when it copies others.
Whether it’s intentional or not, it can hurt your reputation with employees, suppliers and customers. Stop and take a look at all the touchpoints of your brand:

  • public speaking
  • website
  • social media
  • trade shows
  • collateral
  • advertising
  • signage
  • employee recruitment and retention

Intellectual property isn’t just about designs and writing. IP is anything that’s the work of another’s thoughts and experiences.

don't come across as a wannabe
Being a me-too brand makes you the little sister desperately mimicking her heroine. It’s a spectacle that inspires head shaking as observers hope she grows out of it.

True brand differentiation comes from soul-searching, purposeful introspection and hard work. Dig deep to identify the attributes and offerings that make you different and special. That’s where the diamonds are buried.

Mine them, shine them and WOW the world!

be the organization others want to emulate
To paraphrase another wise writer: “to thine own brand be true.”

For help discovering your own uniqueness call Martha Bartlett Piland at 785.969.6203

Tags: business strategy, brand development, internal brand,  marketing, copy cat brands

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