Imitation, as the old saying goes, is the highest form of flattery. But, there is an obvious downside to imitation especially in the business sector. Being imitated can be a big problem for innovators who have worked so hard to come up with a great marketing or business plan. Unfortunately, imitation is considered as one of the facts in the business life. A grand business idea will surely be copied, in one way or the other. It is actually quite flattering for business innovators when their business model is being copied by competitors. When a business model is copied at some point, this means that the original idea must be quite effective since it was able to catch the attention of the competition.
Business marketers or innovators should never be afraid of copycats. Any form of competition that is within bounds of course can be considered as healthy and even positive. These copycats can actually drive business owners to be always on their toes and to come up with more business ideas so their competitors would run out of breath just trying to keep up. Competition especially in the likeness of copycats can be good evaluators since business owners can regularly assess their standing in the market.
What’s up copycat?
Copycats will always be playing catch up, unless they come up with their own ideas. Copycats cannot move forward on their own since they basically rely on the ideas or concepts of their desired business model. Original business concepts can actually benefit from these copycats since they will be getting free marketing. If you already have a popular business model and your competition would copy it, then your business will actually get free advertisement since the consumers would naturally take notice of the more popular brand.
Being copied can be regarded as a big compliment. But, business owners or marketers should also take this opportunity to look closely in their business so they can find more ways for innovation and development. Keep in mind that change is inevitable especially for business platforms. When your business model is being copied by your competition, then that can be used as an opportunity for growth or even for reinvention. Changing your business does not necessarily mean changing the entire concept but it can just be an excuse to check out other facets of the business that may need improvement.
According to Nathan Powell of Nusii, let yourself benefit from your competitors but always remember:
- Don’t be a copycat
- Do not underestimate your competitors
- Know your competitors inside out
- Give your customers value
- Let your loyal customers know
- Reinforce your image and brand
When you have copycats lurking around your business, then that only means that you are on the right track. But, this does not mean that you can be complacent and just let the competition get run you down. Your competition can give you the biggest advantage especially if they constantly rely on your original concept or platform.