Friday, 14 January 2011


Mimicry is all around us. As well as in the world of nature, mimicry abounds in bookshops, with more Harry Potter, Da Vinci Code or Twilight wanna-bees (at least from the cover picture and blurb) than you can fit in your BILLY. And, of course, if you have the good fortune to resemble any List-designation of celebrity, you can usually give up the day job.

In the world of brands, mimicry has long been with us, manifesting itself everything from those almost-but-not-quite perfumes you find on market stalls, to the belts and bags sold by persuasive young guys in far-off places.

And then there are the supermarket's own brands. Aldi seem to be good at this, with their Kinder lookalike very cleverly imitating the colour-coding of the real McCoy.

Finally, there are those brands that are number 3 or 4 in the market who seem to think mimicking the market leader, perhaps at a slightly lower price, will ensure success. One example of such could be Alpia and Milka.

But that which makes a brand - its emotional added value - cannot be copied. You may be able to copy price. But you cannot copy value.

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