Why Duplication Is A Huge Branding Mistake To Avoid
Branding is an essential part of any firm’s strategy for success. By creating a brand that resonates with customers, makes you stand out from the competition and makes a clear promise people can rely on, you can build a positive reputation and customer loyalty to ensure lasting success.
None of that is going to happen overnight and it is a more complex process than you may think. A branding agency can help you develop a coherent brand identity and place the correct weight on each element of the brand.
From this, it can be understood that branding is not just about your logo, but the logo is important. Just consider how recognisable the logos of major firms are: the McDonald’s M or the Nike ‘swoosh’, for instance.
Your logo, like your company name, must be distinctive, because to fail to do this can cause all manner of problems.
An idea of what can happen can be gleaned from a controversy over two very similar street food company logos that appeared in different parts of the country. The Manchester Evening News reported on the case of Crazy Pedros, a pizza restaurant with two outlets in Manchester, whose logo is a man with blue skin, shades and a handlebar moustache.
A row erupted on social media when a fast food truck in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales with the similar name of Crazy Joe’s produced a very similar logo.
Crazy Joe’s took to Instagram to highlight what had been revealed to them, commenting: “Pedro would do better than Joe on Tinder, no doubt. @crazyjoesfoodtruck – can you not. ‘Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.’”
Very soon after, the Crazy Joe’s Instagram account mysteriously vanished.
The incident highlights a number of problems that duplicating a logo or slogan can create, whether it is accidental or deliberate. One is the reputational damage of being seen as a copycat. Clearly the embarrassment this was going to cause Crazy Joe’s was starting to rebound on them via social media, forcing them to shut down their account.
On a larger scale, this can be more serious as copyright issues come to the fore and larger firms can sue. If you are a much smaller company, taking on the big boys is a brave and risky thing to do.
On other occasions, two big rival firms can fight it out in court, such as when Lidl won a trademark lawsuit earlier this year over a similar logo used by Tesco (yellow circle on a blue background) earlier this year. Giant retailers can afford such legal costs. Small firms can’t.
Apart from these risks, copying what anyone else does prevents your firm from developing a distinctive brand of its own.
That may not be a prime concern for a fast food truck in south Wales that is not in direct competition with restaurants nearly 200 miles away, but then offering fast food does not exactly constitute reinventing the wheel.
By contrast, if your firm is looking to offer something new and innovative, such as in the area of new technology or an emerging market, it definitely needs to stand out.
As stated above, that distinctiveness and the branding to support it won’t be all about the logo, but it certainly will be in part.
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