See this fellow? The story behind the above: a 33 year-old, Toby Sheldon, has spent almost $100,000 during the past half-decade on plastic surgery to make him look more like Justin Bieber. Sheldon started with Botox, graduated to Aquamid, and has had hair transplants and even “smile surgery.” Yes, that is a thing.

Source: Getty Images;

Why are we bringing this up? Because all too often, we encounter brands who attempt to emulate their competition. Often, there’s a smaller brand that admires a larger brand in its field, dissects its marketing campaigns, and soon begins to mimic all the efforts of their peer.

The problem with this approach, of course, is that unless your competitor is simply awful at executing (and they probably wouldn’t be a market leader if that was the case), the best you can do is become a pale imitation of them. If they’re the company known for its snarky headlines, the best you can be is that other company with snarky headlines. And, so on.

Instead, we recommend staking out your own ground. If your competitor is only focusing on women under 30, perhaps there’s an opportunity with the early 30s demographic. If the competition always puts the spotlight on their celebrity partners, consider putting the limelight on your customers, and how your product has changed their lives for the better. The key is to explain why your product exists on the market – and how it can add some benefit to consumers’ lives.

But whatever you do, don’t let your brand be Toby Sheldon, please. Be yourself, not a Bieber.