As a luxury or other real estate marketing professional, if you want to challenge the market leader in your area the last thing you want to do is imitate the incumbent.  This is one of those branding traps that even some of the biggest brands fall into and get nowhere as a result.  Originality and distinctiveness is the route to market leadership.  As a challenger, one of your best bets is to take the opposite position as the market leader or else "own" (excel at) the attribute that represents your competitor's greatest weakness.

Imitating your competitor is a declaration to anyone observing that you have no imagination whatsoever.  You look like a “me too!” And what is worse than that is that their way of doing things may not suit your personality or your way of doing business, or the marketplace that you are seeking to gain. 

One of our clients is known for her incredible system of staying in touch with her clients.  People love to hear from her and look forward to her distinctive mailings as well as her annual calendar.  A competitor decided to challenge her with a similar campaign, and the headline of her marketing promo read:  “I am not Valerie, I am Suzie!” (fictitious names).  Her campaign produced no results whatsoever!  What she did is strengthen our client’s hold on this community.

Beware of the temptation to imitate the market leader. It is the sure path to failure. Find out what you stand for and don’t be afraid to be inimitable!