Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Follow the leader and get lost in the crowd.


Differentiation is key to standing out from competing businesses. Not only differentiation in the service or products provided but just as importantly in how they are presented. So it seems odd when a company's strategy is to make their name, logo and overall visual branding as close as possible to the leading competitor. 

Not only is this completely unoriginal but it can lead to confusion between brands and mistrust of a product or service that is clearly just playing copycat. The first thing that comes to mind when you see similar packaging to a leading product is "cheap knock-off". That is certainly not how you want potential customers to perceive your brand. 

Problems can also arise from this tactic because you are essentially banking a large part of your business on the ability of another company to stay popular. What if for some reason the leading brand falls out of favor with consumers? You are then automatically associated with their downfall as well.

The best strategy is to create your own visual identity based on how you want consumers to see your product and what it has to offer. This will give you credibility and be more memorable in the minds of consumers. A well designed brand will stand on its own merits and your business will be far better off for it.