The mana­ger of the legen­da­ry bil­li­ard play­er Wil­lie Hop­pe was once asked by jour­na­lists how it was that Wil­lie could win all of the bil­li­ard tour­na­ments. His ans­wer: „Wil­lie only ever plays bil­li­ards, ever­yo­ne else only ever plays Willie.“

Far too many peo­p­le are only con­cer­ned with stu­dy­ing their com­pe­ti­tors and for­get to give their pro­ducts a clear and unmist­aka­ble pro­fi­le. Accor­ding to the mot­to: „If X Ltd. does it, it’ll be right – then we’ll do it that way too“ … fol­lo­wed by the request: „Take a look at what the X Ltd is doing and plea­se bring me the same thing, but of cour­se in such a way that it’s not reco­gnizable as pla­gia­rism at first glan­ce.“ The coun­ter­part then opens a dra­wer within easy reach, which is loa­ded to the brim with adver­ti­se­ments from the com­pe­ti­tor. The desi­red pages are quick­ly found, copied for the agen­cy as a refe­rence sam­ple and han­ded over.

So far, so good. But why does this sce­ne take place thou­sands of times a day? And – wit­hout wan­ting to offend you – why is it hap­pe­ning to you as well? Well, the­re is a very simp­le expl­ana­ti­on: your neighbor’s car is big­ger than yours, his house is nicer, his grass is gree­ner and his son is smar­ter. It is in our natu­re to not to ques­ti­on things that are alre­a­dy the­re, but to be sedu­ced by the herd instinct ‑ins­tead of making the effort to go our own way. Through the „envy syn­dro­me“ one is sedu­ced into per­cei­ving things that one sees (usual­ly in others) as par­ti­cu­lar­ly desi­ra­ble. The will to want to have such things at all cos­ts is deep­ly ancho­red in the sub­ject of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. From a young age, we begin to copy our fri­ends or their sta­tus sym­bols. We are all influen­ced in our actions by role models and instinc­tively copy their actions.

We don’t know what your com­pe­ti­tors‘ moti­va­ti­on was – and what moved them to design their adver­ti­sing the way they did. But assu­me that the X Ltd. also have such a dra­wer … and that your adver­ti­sing is in it. And after stu­dy­ing the con­tents seve­ral times, we would­n’t be sur­pri­sed if it’s also just a varia­ti­on of yours … Or that of ano­ther com­pe­ti­tor, who pro­ba­b­ly also bor­ro­wed it.

So final­ly play bil­li­ards – your game. Give your brand, your pro­ducts, what they need most: their own distinc­ti­ve pro­fi­le. Yes, it’s more work. Yes, it takes more cou­ra­ge. Yes, it may be a bit ris­kier. Yes, you will take on more respon­si­bi­li­ty. But it will be worth the effort becau­se it will work! If only becau­se when you do it, you’ll be bet­ter and smar­ter than your com­pe­ti­tors. Your com­pa­ny deser­ves it … and so do your products.

Call us if you need sup­port or fol­low us on our blog “Think befo­re doing”