Monday, 22 November 2010

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery....

Firstly I will say this is a little bit of a rant.

I have started looking and buying Christmas presents recently and I know Soap & Glory are already doing a name and shame, see
here. But I was still so surprised at how many of the major stores stock items that are basically copies of major brands, for example Debenhams, BHS, ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury's and even M&S. Now I understand that there needs to be items for all price ranges but there is no need to ripe off someone else's products just to increase your sales.

What had started this was popping into Sainsbury's the other day and looking at the Christmas gifts they had in store. And I noticed these nail varnishes that were £5, which look very much like Nails Inc.
And when I started looking at the rest of the gifts they had a range that looked like Sanctuary and Soap & Glory. When I think about it you seem to now notice this is far more shops, I know we have the saying 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery', but to me they just seem to be using a well known brand to increase their own sales.

Soap & Glory do seem to be hit the hardest by this, everywhere I went seemed to have a range that was similar to them but at half the price.
Now season Soap & glory fans will be able to spot the difference and know the items probably don't work the same. But people obviously are buying them or why else would they stock them. Also I have to say customers like my Nana would buy them thinking they were Soap & Glory etc. I have shown some examples below,

They even use a play on words to name the items just like Soap & Glory.

I used to work in retail Head Office (fashion) and we used to do 'Competitor shops' to see what we weren't stocking or doing at the time. So I know that this goes on everywhere and in all industries, you have to keep up with your competitors. But from a customer perspective I just wish they would stop cashing in on bigger more popular brands to sell inferior products and come up with their own ideas!

And if anything if would be nice to have more of a choice when looking for gifts instead of all these beauty sets looking the same. I am fed up of going shopping and having all the christmas gifts looking the same! It like looking at Boots christmas shop but at cheaper products. The best part of Christmas shopping for me is seeing all the different gift ranges that are around. But everything just seems soooo samey, which I am just getting bored of! I wanted a cheaper option but I would like it to be a diferent choice not an imitation.
Let me know what you think? Are these companies just using good business sense to push and sell their products? Or are they trying to rip customers off?


The Girlie Blog said...

It's hard to get a unique Christmas gift. Good luck with all the shopping!

Georgia said...

Struggling to find gifts this year. Everything is so samey. xxxx

Kirsty T said...

Thanks for your comments!
@Georgia everywhere I went the gifts just looked the same. It would be nice to have some choice really

Lauren said...

I used to work for boots and was once told that similar items in similar packaging are the same thing made in the same factory but with different labels! (like your nails Inc example) xxx

All Made Up said...

I couldnt agree more! I was amazed when I was in Superdrug and saw a range that looked exactly like Soap & Glory items (I'm pretty sure it's the one on the top left of your pics) :)

It seems unfair to totally rip off a company who've probably spent LOADS of time and money coming up with a unique idea.

You mention your nana not being sure that the brand isnt the one you actually use cos they're so similar and I know my mum would be exactly the same - she'd be fooled into thinking the "fake" range is the "proper one" ♥

Kirsty T said...

Thanks for the comments
@Lauren when I worked at ASDA they used to say the same thing there about the smartprice, ASDA range and extra special range

@All Made Up the ranges are all soooo similar! And some shoppers will get confused and sometimes end up with an inferior product

ShimmerDreamz (Cassie) said...

I really don't mind the imitation products myself, probably because I do pay attention and know for example the Soap and Glory products pretty well. Before buying more expensive products, I do my homework properly.

The imitation range of S&G is only £2.99 at Sainsburys. So even if someone mistook a imitation product, they would still have paid less as opposed to more, and the products will still be effective and deliver on what the packaging info described, be it moisturise or cleanse. So whilst the company might be losing out, I don't think the customers are getting ripped off. And who's to say the formula isn't even better than the original? It's hard to protect visual packaging, but I'm pretty sure S&G, as well as other big-brand companies, protect their formulas...

Tanning Bed Lotions said...

sometimes i think that cheaper products can develop a cheap "look" and having similarly shaped bottles/font to the higher end products will have customers automatically associate them with those high end products. But they should not be ripping off entire product concepts like with soap and glory!

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