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?
Scat, Copy Cat
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!