A statement from American Idol Season 9 finalist Aaron Kelly struck me. In USA Today he described his upcoming album as “Keith Urban meets Taylor Swift, but still being myself.”
That’s a mouthful.
I understand the challenge he faces as an artist. He wants people to know understand his style and the easiest way is to compare his music to music already well know.
But when you say “I sound like a famous artist” that just reminds people to buy the famous artist’s CD. Tough situation: well known but not quite famous.
Brand leadership is being able to say, “me and nobody else.” It is about being unique, known and non-interchangeable.
It means taking the risk of not comparing but competing on the merits of your value proposition.
And it is damn hard work.
You can’t emulate your way to brand leadership.