Imitation is NOT the Sincerest Form of Flattery

A woman holding a mirror in front of her face

We were originally going to write a blog about cannabis marketing today (4/20), but we don’t actually know much about the subject outside of enjoying the product….so we pivoted. Today is also National Lookalike Day, one of those really dumb made up holidays, but we’re using it as an opportunity to talk about differentiating yourself versus being a copycat of others in your industry.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We call bullshit, it’s just lazy. Did you start your business to do exactly what everyone else is doing?

19 The Imitators/Copy Cats ideas | me quotes, quotes, words of wisdom

Kim started 8THIRTYFOUR because she felt there was a better way to do agency, 15 years later we’re still here and growing. Doing things differently is why we’re a Top 200 Forbes PR agency, one of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch and why we’ve consistently hit our revenue goals year after year (also EOS, we love EOS). 

If your company was lined up with all your competitors, why would a customer choose you over everyone else? That’s the golden ticket right there, if you can define your unique value proposition and deliver your services in a better way, you win.

How are you different?

This is a harder question to answer if you aren’t actually different. Take a look at how your competitors do business. This could be how they market themselves, the services they offer, their pricing structure, customer service, etc. Now, map out how you do those same things and identify how you’re different. For example, we know our  three uniques are people, ideas and data. Everything we do is focused on relationships and communication and we bring really big ideas to the table, then we measure the effectiveness through data. We’re not afraid to report on what and how we do things – it’s how we continue to deliver results to our clients.

How will you put it into practice?

So now you’re not a copycat anymore. Good job, but it doesn’t mean squat if you don’t put it into practice. We built out processes or checklists to map out how we do what we do and then all staff was and is trained on it. It isn’t just what we do, it’s the values the company is built on and we define those through our core values. We measure everything through our core values. It’s the lens through which we make all our decisions.

If you’re at a loss on where to start, you’re not alone. We sit down with clients and walk them through all of the above and gather feedback from your customers, employees and partners. By the end of the process, we deliver you a messaging strategy defining your value proposition and target audiences. It’s a pretty cool process and we’re really good at it.

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