By Alan Chu


‘Stealing’ in this context, is to look around to see what others are doing well, putting those ideas altogether, and creating an even better end-product as a result.


Being in the final quarter of 2017, firms across the industry are planning for 2018. Many are concerned about their marketing budget (or lack of) and how it will impact them in this increasingly competitive marketplace. We know, because they’re talking to us.


According to a recent survey of 45 private equity firms…

70% of respondents say having a strong brand is very important.

91% say that the need for a strong brand has increased over the past two years.


These answers were attributed to the growth in the number of private equity firms, and competition for fundraising.


Managers Copying and Stealing

It’s clear that managers (1) recognize the importance of having a strong brand, and (2) want to invest in presenting themselves as a strong brand. Recognizing (1) isn’t hard, but executing (2) is where the challenge lies.

Too often, managers set targets to grow their brand presence, boost their marketing game, etc. but are too focused on wanting to be a ‘first’ and to be truly unique. There’s a rewarding feeling knowing that you’re being seen as a trailblazer, but not everyone can be featured in the world’s first hedge fund advertisement. As a matter of fact, only one can…

They drag their feet, and while they genuinely believe that marketing will help grow their business, too much time is spent on the ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ stage. If you’re struggling to get started, or are still seeking inspiration, look around you to see what industry-leading managers are doing. Borrow an idea or two (or three!), and make it your own. Check out our creative portfolio at – that’s a starting point.


Apple ‘Steals’ Too – and they’re doing just fine.

Steve Jobs himself, discussed this notion of ‘stealing’ many years ago:

The incoming iPhone X boasts an abundance of ‘breakthrough,’ ‘revolutionary,’ ‘innovative’ features. But how many of these features are truly in-house, never-seen-before technologies? Apple does exactly what Picasso allegedly preached: they look around to see what others are doing well, put those ideas altogether, and create an even better end-product as a result.

The iPod wasn’t the first portable hard drive music player. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone either. But Apple saw what others were doing, got in the game fast, and are where they are now partly because of that.

It happens everywhere. Google’s October keynote sure looked awfully similar to how Apple has been doing it for over a decade, didn’t it?