How to Avoid Copycat Thinking in Your Business

Mimicry adaptation in nature refers to the small creatures which have the ability to remain indistinguishable from their environment. It is the ability to camouflage oneself and blend in with ease, such as a hawk moth atop dried leaves. In the corporate context, while this may seem like a clever approach, it ends up losing your edge and hiding you.


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    Discover how your business might be knowingly or unknowingly engaging in mimicry adaptation thinking. The classic example is how the various personal care products are introduced in the market by different corporate.
    • For example, after the development on an initial popular cosmetic, many players later enter the market with their cosmetic products. The first approach these companies adopt is to mimic their product as closely as possible with the existing product in the market. Even the packaging approach is also the same; simply a copycat approach with some unbelievable promise or benefit claim. This desire to keep it similar comes from fear of not being recognized as being part of that market for the product.
    • However, it also makes the product indistinguishable and not unique, and eventually it fades away from the customer's notice.
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    Seek to remain distinguishable to catch the attention of the consumers. A business must have the courage to create its own brand and to strike out on its own. Mimicking another brand is a sure way to be lost and to be obscure. It is also a way of getting sued for breaching copyright, trademarks, and so forth if the mimicry is too similar.
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    Be successful on your own terms. Copycat or parrot approaches lead to minimal success when the product itself is copied. However, when a company uses the success story of others as a source of inspiration and not as a tool to make ones own success, then mimicry becomes much more useful for a business.
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    Learn from their success, their mistakes, and their research. Learn from their promotional materials, their marketing, and their approaches to customers. What are the things that they have done right or could have done differently that your business can learn from? What gaps have they left where your company can sidle in and take charge of? Find your company's niche product that is very novel, relevant and most useful.
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    Don't copy the actual product. In nature, copycat adaptation or the parrot learning approach is never in existence. Carve your success through finding the unmet needs and not by trying to photocopy the success model of others.

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Categories: Business