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Flowchart: Does Your Brand Sound Like Every Subway Ad?

If you’re a commuter, you’ve probably noticed a trend in the ads papering subway platforms, bus stops, and basically any available overhead space over the past couple of years. Gone are the days of nondescript ads that riders would gloss over or zone out while reading. Now it seems like every startup and company that aims to target millennials is splashing punny messaging over neutral tones and images of diverse young people doing relatable things like flopping on couches after work and refusing to get out of bed in the morning.

While these ads were initially exciting, relatable, and even taboo, they’ve all begun to sound and look the same. It’s as if ad agencies have whipped up a formula for winning millennial attention. As a millennial myself, I admit there were times in the past when I’ve saved a Casper or Glossier promo code in my phone because the lifestyle the ads promoted was truly tempting. But as these ads start to blend together, it becomes harder to remember which brand is on display amidst the sea of neutral color tones and cute graphics.

When you’re trying to mold your brand voice to attract the right audience, be careful not to fall into the patterns that so many other brands are exhibiting. Competitive differentiation matters. If you’re struggling to find the delicate balance between sounding genuinely relatable and sounding too much like everyone else, we’ve made a handy flowchart for you to follow. Travel safely.

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