Think of it as trying on a radical new outfit that you’ve never worn before and having to wear it at a party with old and new friends, and the only person who told you it looked good was the sales clerk who sold it to you.
A common issue new brand clients encounter is Peacock Anxiety. I coined this phrase so don’t be too put-off if you’ve never heard it.
It is the idea that you want to stand out in the marketplace, yet the idea of being completely different gives you the jitters, so you mimic other successful brands instead. It is the anxiety you feel when you try to do something different because you don’t know what the reaction to it will be, nor the success of it. Think of it as trying on a radical new outfit that you’ve never worn before and having to wear it at a party with old and new friends, and the only person who told you it looked good was the sales clerk who sold it to you.
The anxiety is real. The problem with it is succumbing to it could potentially leave you looking like a feckless copycat.
Gillette dominated the men’s razor market. It was sporty, manly, chic and sophisticated. They had every sports star imaginable as ambassadors. Anyone that tried to gain any market share in the razor game would get cut quicker than a Gillette Mach 3 with a swivel head and vibrating handle. Until, The Dollar Shave Club decided to come along – similar line of product but completely different approach to branding and market positioning.
Imagine the DSC came out with a similar brand. Do you think anyone would have taken notice? Would people label it a cheap alternative to Gillette razors? Perhaps.
The squeaky wheel always gets the grease.
We were approached by a new brand client in the dental industry who had an organic product line, totally dissimilar from any product we had ever seen. It was young, vibrant, environmentally conscious and fun.
The passion about their product spewed out of their eyes when they spoke about it. What did they do? They wanted to look like an already existing dental brand. Not only that, they wanted to mash a herbal brand, a wine brand and 3 other look-a-like cosmetics brands into theirs, none we’d never heard of.
It was heart-wrenching.
Know yourself. Know your brand.
Don’t try to be like anyone else, especially when you’re completely different. Yes, it is daunting. Yes, it is scary. However, the payoff is far greater.