What Should I Do When Someone Copies My Brand?

Business

Dear Jasmine,
What do you do when your “friend” goes out of their way to completely copy your brand? Down to making the same exact things you use in your business. We live in a small town so it makes a big difference when someone completely copies you. She’s done it to others too. She’s not new to the business she’s been doing this longer than I have. How would you handle it, confront in a nice way or just let it go?
Sincerely,
Scat, Copy Cat

Dear Scat,
Let’s get a few things straight, and hopefully it’ll settle your heart. People can’t copy your brand. Why? Because a brand is a set of experiences, not things. A website isn’t a brand. A logo isn’t a brand. Your business card isn’t your brand. Your brand is all the experiences you create in your business to set it apart.

At every interaction–in person, online, over the phone–you must ensure your customers are having a wow moment (an experience).  Most customers have endless options for the very thing you are selling, but their experience becomes a narrative, a story they own and share with others.  The best brands make us love the memory of how their products or services made us feel (think about your first Starbucks, Nike, and/or meal at McDonald’s).  It reminds us of first dates, trying out for the basketball team, of our first road trip.  This connection to memories and emotion causes us to choose one brand over another.

These types of connections make customers choose your business.

If you aren’t creating this type of experience for your customers, then you need to change immediately. Why? Because it won’t be a matter of choosing your brand, but your ability to simply do a job…and that type of competition is extremely hard.

Would I confront a copy cat? No. I’d focus all my energy in focusing on wow-ing my customers and ensuring they choose my business. All the time. I hope you do the same.

If you’d like to learn more about building a brand, growing your business, and fostering loyal clients, I’d love to see you at The Path to Profitability…it’s shaping up to be an awesome weekend!

Shine On,
j*

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  1. Elizabeth Hope

    February 12th, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    you hit the nail on the head, ever.single.time… <3 loved this! I’ve never considered myself in competition with my peers, what I offer is unique to the odd, slightly funny weirdo that I am, and the clients who chose me, wouldn’t be happy with anything less that me!

  2. Jennifer

    February 12th, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    When I was in business for a few years, my best friend decided she wanted to be a photographer, too. She bought the same camera, same computer, same website template. All of my unique photos were copied exactly. Worst of all she copied and pasted my entire FAQ and About Me section into her website! I was furious but never confronted her. A year later she stopped doing photography and I’ve been thriving and have been in business almost 10 years. Keep going. Keep changing. Use the copy-cats to challenge yourself and you will become better for it. Good luck!

  3. Haris

    February 13th, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Yes the way you interact with your customers matters. There are many websites and services which may not copy you but are better than yours. They may copy you or your website but they can’t be what you are. So always thrive to be best and unique in your niche.

    Nice answer Miss Jasmine!

  4. Becca

    February 13th, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I have a local girl who has copied me since she moved to town. However, the copy is never as good as the original. Thanks once again reinforcing what I am already doing.

  5. Stonebridge Photography

    February 16th, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Don’t let little things like someone trying to copy you worry you. They can’t copy the experience you give to the bride and groom. That is the most important thing that you alone can do. Get that right and no one can touch you.

  6. Kim

    February 18th, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Stay focused on your goal, keep going….they won’t be able to catch up!

  7. Amy Sampson

    February 18th, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Great post, I think that whilst it can feel aggravating to be copied, however much someone may mimic what you do, they are not you – you and how you present the ways you see the world are your unique selling point, remember that :).

  8. Alvin

    February 21st, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    I agree with Mrs. Star on this no one can every steal your brand. Copy Cats are just that they copy what they see and only what they see. The behind the scenes connection that you have with your clients is something they will never be able to duplicate. Also Copy cats are always a step behind you, continue to grind, create and innovate with your business it will become a chore for them to keep up. Drive your vision and brand and they will grow tired and they will find it difficult to follow you. Continue doing great things and thanks for asking this great question!!

  9. Ciprian Vatamanu | Fotograf Nunta Iasi

    March 9th, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Nice article… And after all, all that matters is how unique you are when it’s about face to face with the clients, and not how unique is your logo, website or business approach. Keep up with the good work Jasmine!

  10. Industry Copying + Authenticity – By the Sea

    March 11th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    […] this post, Jasmine Star talks about what we should do if someone has copied our brand.  The point she makes […]

  11. Linus Moran

    April 22nd, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I couldn’t agree more Jasmine. Brand and being precious over such things as website, products etc is futile. The brand is the person and the way we connect and interact with ‘our’ clients. It takes dedication, honesty and connection, mixing these correctly and presenting well. Totally unique to each individual. Well said and great post!

  12. Raelene Schulmeister Photography

    June 4th, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    It’s so easy to automatically get your back up hen you *think* someone is copying you. Get defensive, spread hatred, even pull back into yourself. Such great advise here, you do you and I’ll do me. My clients want ME for a reason…me. They want my sense of humour, my personality, the values I have. It’s been a bit of a harder time here in a small town where everyone that’s come before you thinks your ‘stealing’ or ‘copying’ their poses, etc, but lets face it…a lot of that is fear, jealousy and a feeling that is most definitely NOT community over competition.