In Branding

Clients often ask me how to deal with copycats, given my current brand-envy-er situation I thought it would form a cracker blog post. I have included my thoughts on how to get yourself past a copycat. It can be mentally and emotionally very draining.. but it doesn’t need to take over your life.

Last week on April 16th, I hit the GO button on a post on How To Conquer Your Brand Envy. Apparently The Golden Goose brand has brought out a little brand envy in some folk, one in particular. My brand elements and colours (black, gold, sparkles/glitter), the word “magic”, lots of other things, heck – even my tone of voice has been copied!

Let me tell you this, you can’t copy magic!

I LOVE channeling negative energy into something positive, something Future Leah will thank me for, so I’m pouring this into a helpful, inspiring post that will be useful for you in the future.

Onto the most important part of my post – how to deal with copycats while acting with integrity and channeling your bad vibes into good vibes that your future-self will thank you for.

1. Screenshot Your Ass Off

Before I make you feel better, you need to jump on the offending website, email, Facebook page, Facebook group, WHATEVER and screenshot evidence.

Get your Sherlock Holmes on for a minute, you’ll be grateful for the evidence later if a street fighting goes down 😉

2. Feed Your Ego

Be flattered. You heard me! You may be absolutely SEETHING at the moment, but truth be told, you have created a beautiful, brilliant brand that has created a brand-envy-situation in someone. Well done!

3. Validate Yourself

Use this as validation that you’re on the right track. This person obviously sees you as a leader and expert in your field otherwise they wouldn’t be watching you, stalking your every move.

You are a thought leader. You are a brand leader. You are an expert in your field. Embrace those thoughts for a while! Let them marinate 😉

4. Do Nothing Out Of Anger

Whatever you do, do not draft and email and click SEND while angry, tremendous damage can be done to your business, your personal reputation and your brand if you don’t think this through properly. There is also the chance you could be wrong about the copy cat.

If you  must draft something, use business friends as a sounding board but DON’T hit send until at least 24 hours later.

5. Do Everything Out Of Brand Protection

Depending on HOW you’ve been copied – you may want to consider your options with brand protection. Chat with a solicitor who is well versed in copyright and trademark issues.

Remove the brand-envy-er from your enewsletter list and Facebook page if necessary. Be careful which groups and forums you post your issues and launch details into in case they are lurking there.

6. Take Time To Feel Sorry For Them

The truth of the matter is that they are jealous and feel the need to copy you because they don’t know who they are.

They haven’t spent hours of soul searching finding out who they are and what they stand for. They are not operating from an authentic place inside them that encompasses their WHY.

Let me tell you. Brands like that don’t last. Well, they may last – but they are not authentic and real and don’t make people feel something. They have to spend more of their dollars on marketing because their brand doesn’t really connect with people.

Feel sorry for them! It’s good you’re innovative and brilliant and creative 🙂

7. Harness The Energy

If you are still feeling quite negative and you can’t concentrate, hit the pavement! Go for a walk or a run. Clear your head, release the negative energy.

8. Write Them A Message (don’t send)

Write an imaginary message to them. This is for therapy only – you’re not allowed to send it! My message to my brand-envy-er is this:

Learn to love yourself, out of that self-love, let some quality WHY searching evolve. Find out WHY you do what you do (in business, not the copying!) so that you can build your brand from that foundation, rather than mine. Pull your socks up. I reckon you can come up with a brand that fits your business better than mine does.

Genuine brands aren’t copied, they’re birthed.

9. Ignore

After actioning – calling solicitor, drafting cease and desist letters, writing your dream message and NOT sending, whatever is necessary to clear this out of your path – then ignore.

If you don’t ignore, you’re going to go stir-crazy. So leave it! The last thing your innovative and creative side needs to be absorbing is “innovation” and “creativity” from someone who copies!

10. Continue To Be Sparkly & Amazing

I feel this one is self-explanatory! Continue in your magic, in your Zone of Genius, with your focus on your dream customers and remind yourself – Magic Can’t Be Copied!

Have you ever been copied? How did you deal with it?

PS If you would like a beautiful brand like The Golden Goose, come and chat with me! I’d be happy to help you to create a brand that feels right, is genuinely genuine and feels like it fits YOU.

Showing 17 comments
  • Julie Small
    Reply

    That must really irk…all the hard work and effort and creativity it takes just to have someone copy it. Your approach though is sensible and hopefully effective. Great post.

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      It does when your business is your baby, but am happy with a positive, forward approach! 🙂

  • Rachel Montague-Ebbs
    Reply

    You go girl! sometimes the best advice is to take a breath and count to ten. Remember that you are doing what you want, because you want to and even if someone is trying to jump on your band wagon of creativity; they will fall off at some stage and they will fall hard. What comes around goes around… as you said “Continue to be sparkly and amazing”

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      You can’t fake magic, you can’t copy magic. I’m happy being sparkly and amazing! 🙂 Thanks Rachel!

  • meandtheyoung
    Reply

    This is so great! I’m sending it to my friend right now. We always have a laugh about this. Great post.

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      Are you being copied often @meandtheyoung:disqus? You poor bugger! Hope your friend likes the post 😉 x

      • meandtheyoung
        Reply

        Someone captioned their instagram photo with my exact caption, word for word, on Mother’s Day. It was almost comical because I know most of their followers follow me too. No credit, no nothing. As though the whole thing was written by them. Oh well.

        • Leah Bridge
          Reply

          Oh well indeed! It’s annoying, but just a part of life that we original sparkles need to accept 🙂 x

  • Nicole Lawrie
    Reply

    Great post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I see similar ideas across brands all the time and do wonder if they have copied each other. I think it also comes down to trends in the market too. I also think it’s important to remember that sometimes it is unintentional. It may be a coincidence or perhaps they have seen something, it’s stuck in their mind and later comes out in the creative process, not realising it’s not 100% original. All good reasons to not get angry and say or do something you will regret.
    Blatant copying is not cool though and getting professional legal advice before doing anything is always the way to go! 🙂

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      You’re so right @nicolelawrie:disqus – it’s important to take a breath and analyse whether it is actually copying or just recycled trends. In this incidence there were WAY too many factors to add into the mix that they couldn’t be considered coincidences. Either way – it’s important to keep your happy pants on 🙂 x

  • Kate @ Wondrous
    Reply

    I love number 10 to finish this whole post off, ‘continue to be sparkly & amazing” it couldn’t be more true! Your branding in particular is AH-mazing and so consistent. I love it! So don’t stop. Ps. Loving the glass half full approach, it definitely is a compliment too. Kate, Wondrous x

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      Awww such a lovely comment, Kate! I will not be stopping anytime soon, don’t you worry 🙂 It helps to live life as an eternal optimist! Thanks for chiming in @kmhoward90:disqus xx

  • Belinda Weaver
    Reply

    I’ve been asked many times, by new and aspiring copywriters, how they can protect their online content from plagiarism. All you can do is BE MORE AWESOME.

    Great post Leah and a perfect way to channel negative energy into something wonderful. Well done for being more awesome.

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      Exactly! Being more awesome keeps you grounded in what you are doing, rather than off with the fairies (and your competitor). Feeding the positive works! Thanks for chiming in 🙂

  • Mackayla
    Reply

    I’m going to go write my letter (to not send) now! What a great idea.

    • Leah Bridge
      Reply

      Good on you! Don’t let the bastards get you down 😉 x

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