MEANING OF BRAND IMITATION• A Brand Imitation is a product that borrows or copies some special attributes of an famous or leading brand, such as an name, shape or color.• These are those that are not identical but are similar to substance, nature, name, form, meaning or intent to an acknowledged and widely known product or service.
PICTURES REPRESENTING TO SHOW “BRAND IMITATION”
KINDS OF IMITATION1)Counterfeits or Product Pirates:• Counterfeits are copies that carry the same brand name or trademark as the original ones.• It’s an attempt to rob the innovator of the due profits.• Counterfeits are strictly illegal.• They trade on protected brand name or Trademark of an established seller.
2) Design copies or Trade Dress:• Design copies trade on the style, design or fashion of an competitors popular product.• In these instances where fashion is most important than the actual design is been copied and some engineering works which gives an slightly different looks.• Mainly done by following the market leader
.3) Technological Leapfrogging:• Firms that enter a growing market after an innovator will be able to read the market more accurately than the innovator solely because of the passage of time.• As, before entering the market, has better ideas and responses to market situations, allowing the imitator to “Leapfrog” the Innovator with an superior Product.
.4) Knock-offs or Clones:• Because of sudden success of any firms or companies not only they grow but also the clones.• Clones are those which are to the original but they carry different Brand names.• Often clones are legal product of their own right.• The absence or expiration of patents, copyrights and trademarks makes many of them legal.• Clones usually sell the same products at an much lesser prices.
.5) Creative Adaptations:• They are also called as “ Creative Imitations”.• They take an existing product and either improve upon it or adopt it to new arena of competition6) Adaptation to another Industry:• Creative adaptation often takes the form of recognizing the potential of an innovation developed in one industry for use in another by either using the same in an newer way or re- inventing or upgrading
FACTORS AFFECTING BRAND IMITATION1) Time:• Time is an very important thing that would affect the success of both innovators and imitators.• In the case that the innovators are successful and receive well responses from the market, the slower the imitators can imitate.• The faster the imitators can imitate the innovations, the earlier the imitators can grab the market share from the innovators
2) Legislations:• The presence or absence of legislations to protect manufacturing secrets or patents for innovation affects the imitation process.• Patents has an range of time specify and the competitor’s cannot imitate in between time periods legally.3) Customer Demand:• If there is higher levels of demand from the customers and lower or lesser competition than there would faster ways of imitations for such products.
4) Suppliers:• Suppliers that provide and spread raw materials and critical technologies for the manufacture of new products or services are another factor that affect the speed of imitations.5) Production Process:• If the production process is simple and easy to imitate, than the imitation can be faster.6) Spread of Technology:• The degree of how much and how fast the knowledge of innovation can spread and be obtained.
7) Environmental Uncertainty:• Environmental Uncertainty is another factor that affects the speed of imitation.8) Level of IPR’s Protection:• The level of IPR’s (Intellectual Property Rights) protection also has negative relationship with the speed of Imitation.• For developing economies, the result of stronger IPR’s protection is an reduction in knowledge flows from the advanced countries and a lower rate of innovative activity.
IMITATION STRATEGIES• Imitation strategy is the strategy that not only mimics the strategy of other companies but also imitates its promotions and distribution strategies• Imitation strategy is only used at the beginning and if, companies continue to use for long-term than it would be considered market follower and can never become market leader.• Imitation strategy is for minimizing risk of downside loss associated with new entry
Imitation strategies are classified into four types:1) Piracy strategy: Companies that perform this kind of imitation strategy to sell products with the brand and product design exactly the same so that the counterfeit products are often called.2) Cloning strategy: Companies using this strategy are really imitate an existing product, but given the other brands.3) Mimics strategy: The strategy that mimics the design or trade dress mentioned4) Creative Adoption strategies: It is also termed as disguise strategy, namely copying existing products and developing or adapting to apply to the new environment.
FIRST MOVER• A first mover is the firm that takes an initial competitive action in order to build or defend its competitive advantages or improve its market position.• The benefits of being an successful first mover is substantial. Especially in fast-cycle markets, where changes occur rapidly and where it is virtually impossible to sustain an competitive advantage for any length of time.
FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGES• The idea of the first mover advantage is similar to that of the old adage, “The early bird gets the worm”.• First movers are also called as “Market Pioneers”.• Being the first company to sell a new product may provide an long lasting benefits, market dominance and higher-than-average profitability over time.
The Various Advantages are:-1) First movers develop an cost advantage• Being first to offer and sell an particular product to an specific market means that the first mover can begin the movement down the “Experience curve”.• An idea to produce large quantities and reduce the cost of producing the products using economies of scale and by trial and error over time to improve products and processes.
2) First movers face less competitive rivalry .• Although initially the new products get lesser customers but if the opportunities is been properly assessed the demand can grow rapidly.• Though competitors will enter the growing market the company would have established itself and would have considerable amount of market share as well as brand recognition.3) First movers can secure important channels• First movers have the advantage to select and develop strong effective relationships with the most important suppliers• will act as an barrier when competitors enter the market and would be forced to exit or go for inferior channels of distribution.
.4) First movers are better positioned to satisfy customers• The pioneers products would be positioned as an higher brand in their minds because of supply of augmented products to the market.• High amount of brand loyalty and brand association would be present.• Customers would prefer and believe pioneers products rather than new entrants.
.5) First movers gain expertise through participationFirst movers have the opportunity to :-a) Learn from the first generation of products and improve on the basis of product features, manufacturing, product design etcb) Monitor changing needs in markets and change in trend because of participation and analysis of the marketc) Build up networks, which can provide early information’s of opportunities and threats in the markets
IMITATION VERSUS LATER MARKET ENTRYIMITATION LATER MARKET ENTRYImitation implies copying, where the Later entry, in contrast, implies onlyimitator consciously mimics the that the firm has entered the marketpioneer’s product after the pioneer, often with the innovative product of its own Imitators Implies later entry, lacking Later entry does not necessarilythe innovation of its own, the imply imitation. Often firmsimitator enters the market after the simultaneously but independently,pioneers have entered and are pursue similar innovative productssuccessful, and imitates or improvesversions “inspired” by the pioneersFirm rushes its entry to market Performs its own innovative product after the innovator’s entry.
FREE RIDER EFFECTS• The free rider effect is one in which outcome of an action is such that, others are able to benefit from the action without contributing to its cost, is typically viewed as problem for those bearing the cost of the action and an opportunity for those who are able to benefit from the action.• A firm bearing to be an market pioneer bears an higher costs in market analysis, R&D, customer research, sample study, pilot testing etc and literally no costs for those copying the same.
• Whether the organization going for new product . assessment or development the marketer should analyze what is the level of free rider effects the organizations• Later movers may be able to ‘free-ride’ on an pioneer firms investments in a number of areas including R&D, buyer education and infrastructure development. Imitation costs are lower than innovation costs in most industries.• Innovators enjoy an initial period of monopoly that is not available to imitator firms.
LATER ENTRANTS• Later Entrants are companies that respond to a competitive action, but only after considerable time has elapsed after the first mover’s action.• Although pioneers do indeed dominate many markets, many later entrants have overtaken pioneers. Such as:-• Karl Benz invented the automobile, but Ford Motor Company and General Motors took the lead later.• Star was the pioneer in safety razors, but Gillette took over from the pioneer
BENEFITS OF LATER ENTRANTS• A later entrant can take advantage of the technological progress that has already occurred and manufacture a product in the most efficient manner based on learning from market.• Switching benefits are one of the important benefit of later entrants. Switching costs make subsequent market entry more difficult, as the first movers customers only change when the price advantage exceeds their switching costs.• The ability to free-ride on early-mover investments
• A late entrant has low risk of market uncertainty, as there would be certain levels of understanding and awareness about the benefits of an certain type of products or service• Flexibility and the resolution of technological and market uncertainty