If, as the old expression goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then the top brass at brands such as Nike, Sony and Microsoft must be blushing like crazy. Approximately seven percent of world trade is in counterfeit goods, according to The International Chamber of Commerce and 40% of brands counterfeited are composed of a list of only 25 brands. That’s $350billion a year that could be funnelled through legitimate channels and into the hands of companies that invest in their development and promotion.
That counterfeiting is a criminal activity that can have tragic consequences is not in dispute. What is in dispute, however, is that counterfeiting is not always damaging to brands and can actually be leveraged to a brand’s advantage. Counterfeiting can give brands access to new markets and be a benchmark of a brand’s health. It can increase a brand’s awareness such that when the economic climate of a country or an individual’s improves, sales migrate from counterfeit to original. And it can also compel the authentic brand owner to protect, innovate and expand its products, services and markets to keep ahead of its imitators and squeeze out the competition.
Taking a look at Indian scenario, I still recollect that during my school days, we were passing by our local market when we heard someone shouting Shaktimaan papad le lo! (For the uninitiated, Shaktimaan is a Indian superhero and the person was selling papad using Shakimaan’s name). I laughed my heart out at the idea. Whether you like to call it a marketing genius or a cheap imitation is up to you.
Now we have moved on to a new era where the focus has moved on from Superheros and Television to Internet and the web giants like Google and Facebook. And we already know of people cashing on the popularity with Google Pani Puri centre and Facebook restaurant. But if you think this happens only at the street-side vendors, think again. Yes now you can buy such items at your nearby store just like a mall, well almost like a mall. Ladies and Gentleman, Here we present Facebook Perfume:
As the tagline says “Fragrance helps you to be impressive & refreshing to sizzle people in your life”, Do let us know what are you thoughts about this new product. Will it help people connect better?