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Message to Brand Builders: Don’t be a Copycat. FOCUS.

"Did you hear company X is planning a rebrand? I told you we should’ve gone ahead with ours sooner!"

"I heard Company Y is launching their new product today...ugh why aren’t our teams moving faster with our launch?"

"My assistant just sent me a note that our competitor’s follower growth on [insert social media platform] is outstripping ours by 20%?"

"Oh my goodness their new video is amazing, why can’t we do videos like that?"


This has to be a pet peeve of mine when it comes to brand building. DISTRACTION.

There’s always a lot going on and often when you’re managing any kind of brand that distraction can get all dressed up and pretend to be a constructive assessment of the external environment.

But I can tell you that means a whole lot o’ distraction. And it often induces panic. And panic induces really poor decision making.

Poor decision-making isn’t just bad for the brand, it’s bad for the business depending on the brand to shape long-term trust, relationships and community for growth.

Moments of panic and attempts to “keep up with the Joneses” shatter a brand’s uniqueness and become blatantly obvious to the very attuned consumers of our day as “fake”.

Text "Message to Brand Builders: Don't be a copycat. Focus."

That’s why I believe that one of the most invaluable skills for a brand leader to have is FOCUS. You see, while you’re caught up with how brand X or Y is becoming more innovative, getting more followers, or more visibility, you’re spending less time getting behind your own brand’s star attributes.

Distraction will happen, but you need to recognise it and then direct your attention back to your brand by asking these 4 questions (for a start):

  1. Why are we building this brand in the first place?

  2. Why is it important to the people we serve?

  3. What actions on our part are both true to the brand and to the needs of those it serves?

  4. What actions are we taking that make us just like everyone else?

If your role in your organisation is about brand building then another question that should be top of mind is,

“How will this action impact long-term relationships, reputation, profitability and growth?”

Because each act in the short-term should be moving you along the path towards the brand’s long-term vision; its ultimate impact on the future.

For you the brand builder, FOCUS is crucial in every conversation, for every campaign, in all messaging. It’s crucial as products and systems are developed. It’s your responsibility to question motives and help steer the team toward that vision.

It doesn’t mean you can’t experiment, or make changes but it does mean that when you do they are in line with what your brand uniquely means. Otherwise you’re simply offering up a diluted copycat of someone else's brand. And no one wants that.


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