You might be interested to refresh on Part I before reading this part.
We viewed commodity as nobody and me-too brands as somebody in a previously posted write-up. In many cases, the other secret of me-too brand’s survival lies in moving itself first from “somebody” to “better than just somebody” and later to “someone special”.
The first one requires minor changes in its product line and/or ultimate positioning. It does not require the whole gamut of re-branding. Perhaps one unique feature in its product line might keep its customers coming back. For restaurant chains like me-too followers of KFC, introduction of special dessert may make it “better than just somebody”. For Fan brands like followers of GFC or National, availability of variety in colors may make it a “better than just somebody” (provided no compromise with quality).
However, these steps to make “somebody” a “better than just somebody” would be copied by other me-too brands quickly and compete the advantage away. This is a struggle for continuous innovation to keep a me-too brand’s drowning head high in the stormy sea of branding. It turns out that, me-too brands are born and destined to live like a struggling brand because of its own presumed behavior at the very onset. A me-too brand can still live a better life if other me-too brands are managed poorly and eventually shift the residual market in favor of the well-managed one.
Hence, to attain a sustainable return on marketing investment, branding is the ultimate solution for me-too brands to follow in the long run. The closed-box thinking of me-too brands must be broken to re-brand itself. If I cannot compete with KFC, then why put a close- sounding name and tell people that I am trying hard to be like that but I am not the one whom you are thinking? Re-branding is expensive and risky thing to implement, with all the possibilities of misfire and failure. However, applying a right combination of tools and techniques of re-branding is still a better option than living the rest of a brand’s life in the dungeon of second grade followers!