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The Truth About Creating Brands People Love by Donna Heckler, Brian D. Till

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Chapter 25. Imitation is an ineffective form of flattery

Everyone loves success. And people love to imitate those who are successful—to drive the same model car that their favorite NASCAR racer fields, to wear the same shoe as a basketball star, or to mimic the hairstyle of a famous actress. Business people read books like Jack Welch’s Jack: Straight from the Gut hoping to duplicate his leadership success.

Benchmarking is simply another popular variant on imitation. You measure your competition’s performance on relevant attributes and meet (or slightly beat) their performance. Think of this as imitative incrementalism. You’ll be just like your competitor (but a little better). Such strategy rarely leads to strong brands but rather to me-too brands ...

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