Breaking the mould on copycats

When are imitation strategies successful

F. van Horen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

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Abstract

Consumer product companies and retailers often imitate the appearance (or “trade-dress”) of a leader brand to profit from the positive associations attached to the leader brand. Such a copycatting strategy is deliberate and frequently used, as evidenced by the plethora of copycats one can find in the supermarket. Despite the frequent use of such product imitation strategies, it is however less clear when they are successful and why. This dissertation sheds new light on this important question and demonstrates that the effectiveness of a copycat strategy is not only determined by package similarity, but is highly dependent on where the copycat is sold (e.g., in which store) and how it is positioned on the supermarket shelf (e.g., next to the leader brand or not). Furthermore and in contrast to the current opinion, this dissertation shows that high similarity copycats can backfire and reduce consumer’s liking of copycats, whilst subtler forms of copycatting can free-ride more effectively on the leader brand’s equity. Because this dissertation examines the mechanisms underlying copycat effectiveness beyond consumer confusion (where consumers accidentally purchase the copycat instead of the leader brand) are examined, the subsequent findings are an important supplement to the existing literature.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Pieters, Rik, Promotor
  • Stapel, D.A., Promotor
Award date24 Sep 2010
Place of PublicationTilburg
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789056682606
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Imitation
Supermarkets
Brand equity
Consumer products
Retailers
Profit
Liking
Purchase

Cite this

van Horen, F. (2010). Breaking the mould on copycats: When are imitation strategies successful. Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research.
van Horen, F.. / Breaking the mould on copycats : When are imitation strategies successful. Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2010. 173 p.
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abstract = "Consumer product companies and retailers often imitate the appearance (or “trade-dress”) of a leader brand to profit from the positive associations attached to the leader brand. Such a copycatting strategy is deliberate and frequently used, as evidenced by the plethora of copycats one can find in the supermarket. Despite the frequent use of such product imitation strategies, it is however less clear when they are successful and why. This dissertation sheds new light on this important question and demonstrates that the effectiveness of a copycat strategy is not only determined by package similarity, but is highly dependent on where the copycat is sold (e.g., in which store) and how it is positioned on the supermarket shelf (e.g., next to the leader brand or not). Furthermore and in contrast to the current opinion, this dissertation shows that high similarity copycats can backfire and reduce consumer’s liking of copycats, whilst subtler forms of copycatting can free-ride more effectively on the leader brand’s equity. Because this dissertation examines the mechanisms underlying copycat effectiveness beyond consumer confusion (where consumers accidentally purchase the copycat instead of the leader brand) are examined, the subsequent findings are an important supplement to the existing literature.",
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van Horen, F 2010, 'Breaking the mould on copycats: When are imitation strategies successful', Doctor of Philosophy, Tilburg University, Tilburg.

Breaking the mould on copycats : When are imitation strategies successful. / van Horen, F.

Tilburg : CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2010. 173 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisScientific

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T1 - Breaking the mould on copycats

T2 - When are imitation strategies successful

AU - van Horen, F.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Consumer product companies and retailers often imitate the appearance (or “trade-dress”) of a leader brand to profit from the positive associations attached to the leader brand. Such a copycatting strategy is deliberate and frequently used, as evidenced by the plethora of copycats one can find in the supermarket. Despite the frequent use of such product imitation strategies, it is however less clear when they are successful and why. This dissertation sheds new light on this important question and demonstrates that the effectiveness of a copycat strategy is not only determined by package similarity, but is highly dependent on where the copycat is sold (e.g., in which store) and how it is positioned on the supermarket shelf (e.g., next to the leader brand or not). Furthermore and in contrast to the current opinion, this dissertation shows that high similarity copycats can backfire and reduce consumer’s liking of copycats, whilst subtler forms of copycatting can free-ride more effectively on the leader brand’s equity. Because this dissertation examines the mechanisms underlying copycat effectiveness beyond consumer confusion (where consumers accidentally purchase the copycat instead of the leader brand) are examined, the subsequent findings are an important supplement to the existing literature.

AB - Consumer product companies and retailers often imitate the appearance (or “trade-dress”) of a leader brand to profit from the positive associations attached to the leader brand. Such a copycatting strategy is deliberate and frequently used, as evidenced by the plethora of copycats one can find in the supermarket. Despite the frequent use of such product imitation strategies, it is however less clear when they are successful and why. This dissertation sheds new light on this important question and demonstrates that the effectiveness of a copycat strategy is not only determined by package similarity, but is highly dependent on where the copycat is sold (e.g., in which store) and how it is positioned on the supermarket shelf (e.g., next to the leader brand or not). Furthermore and in contrast to the current opinion, this dissertation shows that high similarity copycats can backfire and reduce consumer’s liking of copycats, whilst subtler forms of copycatting can free-ride more effectively on the leader brand’s equity. Because this dissertation examines the mechanisms underlying copycat effectiveness beyond consumer confusion (where consumers accidentally purchase the copycat instead of the leader brand) are examined, the subsequent findings are an important supplement to the existing literature.

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

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van Horen F. Breaking the mould on copycats: When are imitation strategies successful. Tilburg: CentER, Center for Economic Research, 2010. 173 p. (CentER Dissertation Series).