One of the first symptoms of the imminent massive success of a brand or product is the appearance of fakes or copies.
The fakes are concentrated in a few dozen brands, usually luxury. They are usually imitations of poor quality, although sometimes the resemblance to the original is large. We can all remember without effort many brands of which we have been aware for the first time through a forgery: bags, watches, polo shirts, t-shirts, electronic devices …
Forgeries are a nightmare that costs brands billions of euros per year for lost sales. But they also cause harm to the consumer since, in many cases, counterfeit items do not comply with any type of safety or health regulations and cause poisonings, injuries and all types of accidents.
Copies are much more common. They are usually products of brands from the same sector, which are ‘designed’ with the unequivocal intention of imitating the copied product but with enough differences so as not to break the law.
Almost always, the price is usually the main argument presented by the products that copy others. The best weapon to combat against it is the creation of added value.
The added value is the distinctive elements, tangible or intangible, that make a product unique and, often, better than the rest.
These distinctive elements can be so important to the customer that, by themselves, compensate for the difference in price or other aspects. The elements that constitute the added value of a product can vary greatly depending on the sector, the market or the client profile to which it is addressed.
Therefore, I would like to suggest 8 keys to create or improve these distinctive elements, which will help you to deal with the copies:
The Customer Experience . One of the most important keys: you have to make the positive sensory stimuli that the client receives during the purchase process turn it into a memorable purchase.
The emotional relationship . Through the means at your reach, both face-to-face and virtual, you must emotionally involve the client with the product with good communication, backed by an adequate marketing strategy.
Real quality vs. perceived quality . Make sure that the level of quality you give to each product against its competition, is not “contaminated” by your professional vision and corresponds to the client’s criteria, which may find irrelevant the difference you find transcendental.
Copies. It will be essential that you know perfectly the product that makes who copies you to correctly argue the advantages of the original and improve the product or product selection.
Customer knowledge. Knowing the motivations that the client has to buy one or another product, you may discover that some of the customers who buy the copies would never buy the original product.
Go to the essence . When creating a product or choosing it to be sold, we let ourselves be fascinated by the extras. One thing is to offer the possibility of personalizing the product and another is to load it with extras, which will make it easier for the competition to offer a much lower price.
Warranty . The price is an important factor, but it is not the only one. A good guarantee, covering more aspects of the usual or, simply, that it is longer, will bring peace of mind to the client, as well as transmitting a greater promise of quality.
The distribution. Many intermediaries and high margins are a lethal combination. All the ‘copiones’ “save the design and promotion expenses. If, in addition, they can be placed in the market, saving in intermediaries and reducing margins, the price difference they will obtain can be insurmountable.
Surely there are many more keys to deal with the copies, what do you suggest?