The Copycat Fallacy

Businesses often survey what their competitors are doing, then try to emulate them, pulling elements from various sources to create a new, if unremarkable, whole.  There are entire consulting practices based on gathering successful businesses together to share and replicate their marketing approaches.  This is the polar opposite of branding.  While there’s value in understanding what’s working for other, similar businesses, it’s all moving too fast today, and you can’t build a brand, gain market share or boost traffic simply by doing what the other guy does.  You have to become the one they’re all chasing.  Be the company that’s ahead of the pack, trying new approaches, getting closer to customers and exploring new, more effective marketing channels.