I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard someone say “I’m surprised this is an XYZ ski!!” because they typically prefer another brand. Yes, every brand has their feel on the snow, but it’s constantly evolving and there is plenty of overlap in designs out there. The ski industry is like a really small town - everyone has been with the person next door. The ski design for Volkl, has also worked for Atomic, Elan or Salomon (or maybe all three).
Trust me: In every single conversation, I’ve ever had about ski design with other ski designers we talk about which ski was used as the basis for the new one. Everyone copies each other’s skis. Our first year we knew Rossignol, Elan and Nordica all bought our skis to replicate. It’s 2018, it’s not that hard to do with computers and lasers (of course they can’t replicate our technology, but that’s a different story).
FACTORS TO CONSIDER: There are 5 things you need to consider when picking out a ski. Remember, these are aspects you need to decide - not your buddy who tells you stuff. Sure, take it into consideration, but remember you are buying for you, not them.
FACTORS TO NOT CONSIDER: Just as important are the things you SHOULD NOT consider when picking a ski. In my experience, with all the things to think about, I would worry about these the least.