We live in a marketing and branding world where Jack Trout warns us that death is the punishment for companies who do not differentiate. Bloggers are trying hard to get unique or customized blogs to support their online brand. We all strive to promote a special something that’s only ours. But is it really necessary? Is it the only way? Or is the uniqueness also nurtured by something else rather than design or having your product photo recognized by everyone without seeing the logo?

I’ve been thinking lately of some large car manufacturers. Peugeot, Citroen, Ford, Toyota, all strong players in the international market. They all have something in common: producing some small cars, perfect for the city life. But let’s take a closer look at how these cars look like:

Peugeot 107

Peugeot 107

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Yes, you’ve guessed it, they look pretty much the same. Especially 107 and C1, if you see them passing on the street, you can’t tell them apart. Toyota is also close by. Ford Ka was the only one with a very different design, you couldn’t take it for another car that easily!

Ford Ka

And then Ford launched a new and improved Ka! While still looking a little different, guess what, it’s getting closer to the common design:

New Ford Ka

So what do you make of all this? Branding mistake or smart move? Have you heard Peugeot, Citroen or Toyota complaining at all? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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