Imitation is not a good brand strategy
We all love success and people love to imitate success – to wear the same watch as our favourite footballer or to wear the same hairstyle as a famous actor or actress. When the tv show ‘Friends’ was at its height so to was the hairstyle sported by Jennifer Aniston.
Benchmarking is simply another term for imitation. You measure your competitors performance on relevant attributes and aim to meet of slightly beat their performance. You’ll be just like your competitor just a little better. This stagey rarely leads to a strong brand and more often than not results in a ‘me too’ situation rather than a clear point of difference statement.
Apples iPod was by far the dominant player in the mp3 market for years. They were early to market and the iPod sleek design and simplicity made it an instant hit! It didn’t take long for the imitators to appear. Microsoft developed their own version of the ipod called the zen but it just could not capture the imagination and utility the product failed.
Finding your brands differentiation is not always easy and to set up your brand for best success requires standing out form the competition not imitating it.