When it comes to something “free”, we unconsciously signal our minds to expect less as compared with the “paid” version. To go straight to the topic, Gmail branded itself by breaking this perception off as compared with its competition. The winning formula has been very simple, classic and obvious. Yet, it seemed that competitors traditionally followed the same “less expectation” paradigm when designing their free email services, until Gmail came up with its overwhelming muscles, whistles and bells. This proved once again that marginal and thrifty increment in rewards cannot pull and keep your customers, particularly when another competitor can sweep you with a sudden impact of bundle that creates a wow effect.
How about copying the competition? Laggards may not have that good luck in the world of branding.