Copycat brands try to gain acceptance from consumers by imitating the trade dress of a leading, incumbent brand, and a crucial question thus is which conditions determine the perceived similarity between a copycat and a leading brand. Two experimental studies, across different product categories and countries, reveal that, as hypothesized, the copycat strategy (copying visual attributes versus themes) and the mindset of the consumer (featural versus relational focus) interact to determine perceived similarity. Consumers in a relational mindset perceive a theme-based copycat to be more similar to a leading brand than consumers in a featural mindset do. These findings have implications for similarity theory and branding practice.
|JBR: Journal of Business Research
|Published - 2010