Your small business is unique — your marketing should be, too (5 Tips to Avoid Copycat Syndrome)

Sometimes, it just jumps out at you. The perfect website. A beautiful logo. A sleek brochure. And you can’t help but think, “Yes, this is perfect. This is EXACTLY the kind of marketing my small business needs.”

Tempting as it may be to borrow the brilliant ideas of others, the truth is that another small business’s marketing will never be exactly what you need.

That’s because no two small business brands have the same needs, the same goals or the same personality.

The next time you feel the pull to go copycat-crazy, take these five steps to push through to something even better.

 

1. Go ahead, allow yourself to feel inspired.

Feeling that little flutter of excitement when you stumble upon a stunning advertisement or innovative social media campaign is a good thing. It means you’re thinking about how your marketing can more effectively reach potential customers and reel them in, the same way you’re feeling reeled. Inspiration is the first step toward taking your marketing game to the next level, so let it wash over you.

2. But then, remember that you — and your brand — are unique.

While we know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we don’t want your small business brand to look or feel like anyone else’s. Your awesomeness can (and should) stand out in a crowd. Take all of that juicy inspiration and weave components of what you like most from that other ad or website along with something new and shiny and totally you.

3. Try to narrow it down.

What do you like about the other brand’s piece? Is it the layout? The color? The wording? The way it made you feel? If you can pinpoint why a particular marketing piece spoke to you, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect fit for your business. In fact, if you’re working with a marketing professional, the more examples you can provide, the better they can get inside your head to deliver something truly spectacular.

4. Think about your goals.

Behind every marketing piece lies a purpose. As much as you might like the look or feel of a particular piece, it might not do the work necessary to meet your specific goals. A stunning website is a wonderful thing, but if your current priority is to launch a new product, then a total website overhaul might not be in the cards at the moment. The design, copy and medium chosen for marketing pieces are influenced by all sorts of factors, including audience, industry insights and calls to action.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Marketing professionals should be able to do more than simply give you what you ask for. The really good ones (ahem, we like to think this includes us!) should be able to offer insights and recommendations that go above and beyond what you expected. Options and suggestions that are unique to your brand and business goals will always be more effective than a “redo” of another business’s marketing.

In fact, if you’re bursting with a marketing idea but haven’t been able to pull the trigger, you can use our handy-dandy “Project Planner” tool to get the conversation started!

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