Sameness leads to mediocre results and decreases the probability of making your number. So how do you stand out in a crowd of "me-too" brands?

One of today’s most popular exercises for marketing leaders is the blind website review. This is where you select your competitors websites, remove the names, and evaluate the messaging of each site with the goal being to identify key differentiators.


Typically this exercise produces very little value, except to validate that most of your competitors, including your own messaging, likely says the same thing. Perhaps different words are used.  Yet the essence of what your brand does relative to your competition is the same.


Sameness leads to mediocre results. It leads to commoditization. It leads to anemic or small increases in growth. Sameness decreases the probability of making your number. So how do you stand out in a crowd of “me-too” brands?


Leading CMOs know that creating a brand is far more than flowery words and vivid colors on a website. To create a captivating and compelling brand, the marketing team must dig into the customers mindset to fully understand the pain they are trying to eliminate, or the problem they are trying to solve.


This requires an outside-in focus by spending time with a variety of buyers in the marketplace. Too often, marketers limit their interactions with their core customers. Even more often those interactions are spent with their top customers – those that provide the highest NPS scores, or who spend the most. This approach is problematic when creating a strong brand.


Taking this approach leads to sameness, or me-too messaging. After all, your existing customers only have their current frame of reference. They’ve been trained to accept what is, rather than to dream of, or desire something better.


The top CMOS, the ones who create strong brands that deliver value and break through the noise, focus on answering the following questions:


  1. What is the buyer’s pain we are solving for?
  2. What other tangential pains or annoyances surround the main pain?
  3. What challenges are you helping your buyer solve?
  4. What does the buyer dislike or distrust about brands within our industry?
  5. What does the buyer’s emotional state look like if the problem is solved?
  6. How does the buyer finish this question relative to solving their pain point – “it would be fantastic if…”. What does the “if” look like?
  7. What and where are the gaps between our current customers and our future buyers?
  8. What are the main drivers of value that peek the buyers interest? Money, time, engagement, morale, efficiency, etc.
  9. What’s the effort required for me to do business with you?
  10. What specific words/phrases does the buyer use to describe their pain/problem?


Getting answers to these questions provides a solid starting point for building, shaping, and refining your brand. These questions must be answered by the buyer. This requires both capability and capacity.


  • Does your company have the skills and talent in-house to conduct this work?
  • Do you have skilled interviewers?
  • Do you have the assessment skills needed to sift and sort through the buyer responses?
  • Does your team have the time to do this work?
  • Will this work be the primary focus or one of 25 different priorities?


Contact me at if you would like more specific insights for how your company can create a stronger brand that leads to increased buyer engagement. Or, if you’d like to be assisted by SBI’s team of experts, visit us in The Studio.


To learn how effective your current marketing strategy is, and where you may need to focus more attention, click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Methodology. This self-assessment helps CMOs:


  1. Understand the strength of their current brand strategy
  2. Determine whether they are communicating with the right buyers through the right channels
  3. Facilitate discussions with the Executive Leadership team on the importance and value of creating a strong compelling brand and message


Sales Revenue Growth


Joe DeRosa

Takes a holistic view of the entire revenue ecosystem and provides clients with innovative ways to achieve their numbers.

Joe has 20 years of senior leadership experience in marketing and sales.  He has helped Fortune 1000 companies, and privately held firms achieve record-setting revenue results by creating innovative and actionable go-to-market strategies.  As a recognized branding expert, Joe has led the complete rebranding of several firms in the financial, business, and insurance services industries. Most recently Joe led a complete sales and marketing transformation of an insurance services firm including the delivery of a new website, logo, marketing automation, demand waterfall, sales enablement, and inside sales team, resulting in the strongest premium growth in company history.


By taking a holistic view of a company’s revenue ecosystem, Joe is able to connect the buyers journey to a customized sales process that effectively enables the buyer’s path to purchase.  From a company’s digital presence to its physical sales force, Joe skillfully creates thoughtful strategies that enable the successful conversion of a company’s brand into revenue.


Joe has built and transformed many national field, and inside sales teams.  He has led the creation of channel sales and marketing teams, implemented demand waterfalls providing an increase in marketing qualified leads, and launched sales enablement functions that have reduced the onboarding time for new sales representatives while increasing the velocity of the revenue pipeline. Joe is a frequent publisher of original content on the buyer’s journey, social selling, sales enablement, branding, marketing automation, sales training, and leadership topics.


Joe is the author of the book titled The Customer Mindset: Thinking Like Your Customer to Create Remarkable Results.  


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