Dealing with a copycatter? Here’s where to channel your energy (whilst keepin’ it classy)

Let’s be real. Copycatter’s suck. When you’ve put so much time, energy, expertise and let’s face it, money, into your brand, it can be so incredibly frustrating for someone to make a rip-off of it in minutes. 

When someone makes a copy of your brand, or imitates part of it, it says a lot about both parties. For you, it means you’ve got something worth copying so, bravo to that. For the copycatter, it highlights that they’re so out of touch with their own brand that they need to focus on their competitors instead. It also means they lack their own creative confidence, experience, or support team to execute something original. 

Now, this isn’t to make you feel sorry for the copycatter or to make excuses for them, but it helps you to understand that sometimes, copycatter’s aren’t coming from a place of malice but rather a total fangirl [or guy] moment. To them, imitation is much easier than invention, especially when they have what they feel is the total end goal staring right back at them in your brand. 

We thought we’d leave out the tricky business that can happen during these scenarios [you know, the ones that require less flare pants and more briefcases which totally isn’t our jam] and focus on some ways you can positively channel your energy into your own brand, purpose and customers.

Copying doesn’t equal brand loyalty 

Someone can snag a colour scheme, font and hey, even a tagline but you know what they can’t whip up on Canva? Your brand loyalty. The powerful blend of all the wonderful things that make people choose you time and time again. 

When you’re faced with a copycatting situation, focus on your customers. We can spend so much time and energy worrying about what our competition is doing that we forget that we’ve still got an abundance of loyal customers that are likely none the wiser. Focusing too much on what others are doing is what drove the copycatter in the first place so don’t put your energy in that same basket. This is the ultimate, you do you, moment!

When you work that hard to develop such strong brand loyalty, it takes more than a cheeky copycatter to have your customers jump ship. You must remind yourself that a brand is so much more than its visual identity. It’s also the way it sounds, the way it speaks to the customer and ultimately, the way it makes them feel every time they engage with you. 

Are there opportunities for a brand refresh? 

Sometimes a copycatting incident can ignite the fire from within to finally refresh your brand or make those tweaks you’ve been considering for a while. Now, we don’t mean completely overhaul your entire brand but consider opportunities to breathe fresh air into your brand and add a little somethin’ somethin’ that the copycat doesn’t have. 

We think a great place to start is a Branding Audit. A Branding Audit gives you the space to reflect on your brand as a whole and ask yourself the tough questions, especially if you’ve been around for a few years at this point. 

Has your overall goal changed direction during the evolution of your business? Are you still clearly and engagingly connecting with your dream client? Are your brand touchpoints consistent and communicating that message effectively? 

Remember your purpose 

Think of it like this. When a brand copies another brand, they might act like they can walk the walk but when we get down to the nitty gritty, they cannot talk the talk. 

Just like your brand loyalty, a copycatter cannot take away your purpose. Your WHY drives everything within your business, with every touchpoint leading back to that purpose. People gravitate towards authenticity so whilst another business may visually identify like you, they don’t have that heart, soul, and purpose to back it up. 

Whilst you should challenge and rise above copycats, don’t allow them to get inside your head and mess around with your purpose. That’s yours to own, grow and evolve as your business does. Hey, this might even be the time you really lean into your purpose and create something completely new and exciting with it!

Let’s be real. Copycatter’s suck. When you’ve put so much time, energy, expertise and let’s face it, money, into your brand, it can be so incredibly frustrating for someone to make a rip-off of it in minutes. 

Copycatter’s come and go but those brands that are deeply linked to their customers, their purpose and their evolution are the ones that will always stand out from the crowd. As old man Suess once said, no one is youer and you.