How to Break Free From ‘Same Here’ Branding Strategies

Posted by Mitch Duckler
Breaking Free from 'Same Here' Branding Strategies

One-of-a-kind brands appeal to customers, and brands become one of a kind by differentiating themselves from the competitive clutter. Unfortunately, many companies seem to think the road to differentiation is paved with gimmicky ideas. Take Johnnie Walker, which recently created a feminized spinoff of its nearly 200-year-old logo, christened it “Jane Walker,” and dubbed the move “another symbol of the brand’s commitment to progress.”

But is it really progress? Or is it another one-off attempt to draw in women with gendered packaging? Jane Walker is essentially the scotch version of “Lady Doritos,” a product idea that generated fierce pushback and sent PepsiCo into damage control mode. How much is Jane Walker really doing for women’s rights? Probably not much.

Difference Matters: Components of Differentiated Branding

Many companies are suffocating with a “same here” mentality where they look the same, act the same and offer the same types of products and services. But the same tired messages aren’t attracting buyers' attention or creating differentiation in the crowded marketplace. Me-too brands just don't cut it anymore. However, a strong, differentiated brand provides an extra edge over the competition.

Brand monotony might be increasingly common, but it’s not inevitable. By focusing on six key components of successful branding, companies can identify what makes their brands unique and develop strategies to escape the sameness. The notion of competitive advantage is intrinsically linked to differentiation.


As brand strategy consultants, we firmly believe brands don’t need gimmicks to stand out — they need better branding strategies. Despite this, many continue to lean on copycat tactics instead of solid strategic planning. Yet thoughtful brand and marketing strategies benefit companies and consumers alike: Organizations benefit from market differentiation through the improved financial performance that results from it, while consumers enjoy clearer reasons to choose one product over others in an otherwise sea of sameness.

Read the full article on Chief Marketer.

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