Call us cynical or just plain ungrateful, but we’ve never thought of imitation as a form of flattery. Maybe it’s because we’ve worked hard to get where we are, with the reputation we have, but copying another successful business has always just seemed plain lazy to us.
By all means, look up to businesses and business owners that you find inspiring and motivational, but look at how they streamlined their operational model, take notes about seminars they attended and see which networking platforms they recommend; don’t simply imitate their logo, choose a name that sounds like theirs and hope that you manage to catch some unsuspecting and less informed clients!
What would you do if you found out that you had a copycat? Would you be prepared and equipped to pursue legal action? We ask, because if you are in the early stages of setting up a new business, or even if you are established, we recommend copywriting your brand, including your name and logo. Even if you don’t think it is anything all that special or different, if you garner yourself an amazing reputation within your industry, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone will seek to make it appear that they are either affiliated with you or actually you. It sounds mad doesn’t it?
Always stay alert as to businesses that operate within the same industry as you, within your local area. Try to commit to a monthly internet search, just to see if any new names or faces crop up. If you see anything that looks a little close to the mark, you will have every right to get in touch to find out what is going on and if you have protected your branding, you would have little difficulty in obtaining a cease and desist order, if it came to that.
While it’s very nice that people are looking to you as a major player, you don’t want them cashing in on all the hard work, long hours and considered branding that you have completed. This isn’t high school and we’re not talking about someone buying the same jeans as you! Logo imitation and trading under a false name are illegal and more than that, they could be damaging to legitimate operations such as yours. You wouldn’t dream of trying to falsely trade on the reputation of a fellow small business owners, so don’t stand for it if you are the victim. Flattering or not, it has to stop!