As someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes marketing; there’s a common tactic I see that just makes me cringe. I don’t cringe because it’s offensive or tasteless. I cringe because I know the business using it is on a dangerous path.
The tactic I’m talking about is one I call “me too marketing”. Me too marketing means you’ve seen your competitor putting out a marketing message that’s so good you become envious. So you start screaming to the world, “Me too!! Me too! I do that too!”
Me too marketing is dangerous on several levels:
1. When you spend your marketing budget to say “me too” you’re spending money to advertise for your competition, especially if the message is very unique. People don’t remember the 2nd guy to do something. They remember the first guy. (When was the last time you saw a picture of the second guy to walk on the moon?) When you copy the message you remind your audience of where they heard it first, because the first guy is the one who set up the idea in your audience’s head.
2. A “me too” message tells your audience you are the same as your competitors. You don’t want to be the same- you want to be better. When all things are equal price becomes the deciding factor to your audience. You could very easily find yourself in a price-slashing war with your competitors because you haven’t set yourself apart from them.
3. You set yourself up as the “other guy” when you’re compared to the business who did it first. You become positioned as the people who create the knock-off, not the original. People are often willing to pay a premium for the original, but they want the knock-off to be deeply discounted.
How do you avoid the “me too” trap?
Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate!
Keep things uneven and you don’t have to worry about competing on price. You know your business better than anyone – find a way to set yourself apart. Talk to your audience and find out what’s important to them. Ask them why they buy from you- after all that’s what counts.
When they tell you what it is you might say, “But everyone does that”. It may be true, but if your competitors aren’t talking about it this gives you an untapped benefit you can present to your audience to set your business apart from the crowd
Working from this angle you’ll probably see where you can develop entire campaigns and marketing concepts you’ve never thought of before.