Over the past few months, most of us would have seen some of UAE’s top furniture brands( 4 of them to be precise) using expensive, premium billboard locations to articulate what seems to be a salute to homogenity ( or is it indifference?). What is baffling is the unabashed comfort(security?) being derived from being no different. Same message, same colour scheme and layout, same discount offer, on the same medium, within the same eco system( all these billboards are within a maximum of 500 metres from each other) and of course talking to the same set of road users on that stretch. And for the same product category.Whew!
All along we were given to understand that differentiation is what separates the men (brand) from the boys. To see that being flouted and consistently so could mean any of the following:
– that this is working( and you better get ready for more of the same). End of debate!
– the rules of brand differentiation have changed and we seem to have missed the bus
– don’t make the folly of investing in ‘ brand strategy ‘– tell it to the birds
– the customer can continue to be taken for granted(discount their sense of intellect as you offer all through the year discounts)
– there is safety in adopting a ‘ herd mentality ‘- even though you might have heard things differently when you studied and deployed branding messages
– in an increasingly commoditised world, communication content or style and brand positioning takes a back seat, if at all
– Within the marketing/branding fraternity, brilliant, out of the box thinkers, end up being ‘ box pushers ‘. What could be the compulsion? Top Lines ? Bottom Lines? Why put your neck on the line? Reckon it’s time to draw the line.
– Increasingly Zero Tolerance to creative risk taking, however calculated and measured it might be. Deliver the expected(not the unexpected!)
– ‘Deja Vu’ is the new normal. Surprise, innovation, creativity…what’s that?
All these brands seem to be ‘ at home ‘ doing this, so, if you are expecting to see some creative brand communication which makes you say ‘ touchwood ‘, you are in for a disappointment.