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I’ve Got to Be Me: Copycatting is for cowards


I work with a lot of brilliant people in building their brand. Some embrace their greatness and revel in what sets them apart; others reluctantly wear their greatness like the cloak of shame, afraid to appear boastful or to stand out from their peers.

Obviously, if you’re in the first group, building your brand is more about harnessing the enthusiasm and honing the message. However, if you are among those who, by culture or nature, like to hold back, sit quietly and follow what everyone else is doing, it’s time for a little come-to-Jesus.

Whether you own a business or you’re a brand-shaper in a large corporation, one thing is for certain: One of the best things you can do for your brand is to get noticed. Branding is taking on a leadership position. You can’t follow in the dust of your competitors and expect to build an enduring brand.

Why do you need to get the brand out there loud and proud?

  • You provide a service to prospective customers by helping them understand how you differ from competitors, thus making it easier for them to choose.
  • If you can’t clearly articulate why you are the best choice, how do you expect your customers to see it?
  • People don’t remember the copycat—the “me-too”—brands, they remember the original.
  • If you are brilliant enough to excel at what you do, then be smart enough to get the word out. Engage someone to help you build your brand.
  • Money follows attention: Raise your revenues by getting noticed by your target clients and influencers.
  • Branding is the glue of engagement—attract, listen, service, satisfy, appreciate, follow-up, repeat as needed.

If you choose to copycat someone else’s brand, you send the message that there is nothing special about your brand—you are just one of the many. And, you face the very real risk of duplicating someone else’s bad decisions. The “safe” path is frequently not. It takes clarity to define what makes you special and courage to set yourself apart to develop and maintain a strong brand.

Be brave. Be you.

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