How to respond when someone copies your business?

February 27, 2023

What to do when someone copies your business, product, or marketing strategy? Most of the time - ignore them. You must be flattered - since you have done something right.

I have seen our landing pages, ad creatives etc., getting copied. What did we do? Nothing. We focused on execution and providing a great experience. (We are not perfect yet, but slowly getting there.) People who copy are inherently lazy, so they might give up after being at it for a while. And more than often, the copy turns out like this. 

Courtesy: Business Memes

Now what to do when a giant copies you? How do you respond and defend your business? Let's go into a real case study on how a small company stood up to Amazon.

😇 David vs Goliath - The Peak Design Story

Peak Design is a travel accessories company selling various types of bags for its customers. Their flagship sling bag got copied by Amazon as part of their Amazon Basics brand.

Amazon Basics Bag (left) vs Peak Design Bag (Right). Courtesy: Peak Design

Any other brand would be overwhelmed. But Peak Design decided to take the fight to Amazon but in a different way. They created a hilarious ad calling out Amazon showing how their product is better.

In the ad, they mimic how the Amazon Basics team developed the product. I love the line - ‘Let’s basic this bad boy.’ 

In the campaign, they positioned their product vs Amazon’s cheap copy in three key areas: 

  • Innovation: They pointed out the innovations they have brought to the product
  • Environment friendliness: Not present in the copy product
  • Lifetime guarantee and Awards.

The ending line is the punch line.

If you don't want a product that's responsibly made by a small but innovative company, you don't have to purchase it. "Whichever one you buy, you’ll get exactly what you paid for."

This is an excellent copy - essentially appealing to the audience to choose innovation vs cost and quality vs a bad ripoff. Also, this does not mean you should never copy or be inspired by your competition. You can do that, but you need to keep a few things in mind.

Tips to copy in the right way

1. You must understand that the offer and positioning of your product might be completely different from your competitors. Make that adjustment while drafting your landing page.

2. The customer journey from lead to purchase can differ significantly from your competitor. Keep that in mind and make the required changes in the journey to suit your customer base.

3. It is always a good idea to observe the overall flow of your competition's marketing campaign. Click the ads, sign up for the products and note down what you like and don’t like in a marketing campaign.

4. A few elements of the landing page can be catchy - like the video explaining their value proposition or the way the sections are designed. You can definitely take inspiration.

If you notice someone copying your marketing strategy and creatives, increase your innovation. Produce different angles, and refresh your campaigns and creatives at a faster pace to stay ahead of the curve.

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