Insights & Opinions… from the MAC4 team.

Why Being Copied is the Biggest Compliment

A marketing colleague recently asked my opinion on their client’s travel business, which was showing stagnant sales. I took a look at their website and immediately had the answer. The website contained all the requisite beauty photos, press accolades, travel dates, and prices. But as I dug deeper, I discovered that the trips only contained sample itineraries, vague descriptions of the places visitors would go and the people they’d meet.

This was a company that prided itself on one-of-a-kind travel experiences featuring high-end, exclusive itineraries to remote destinations. So where was the substance beyond all the fluff?

It turns out that the company’s director was afraid to give away their travel secrets. They had spent years uncovering hidden gems and cultivating local relationships, attempting to avoid the mass attention that could quickly turn a travel paradise into a tourist disaster.

And sure, they had well protected their secrets. But what’s not for sale at market will rarely be sold. The price they were paying for not sharing the precious details of their product was a loss in sales. Website traffic was high and customer satisfaction was off the charts. But the average client prospect just wasn’t being converted.

The reality is that in today’s world of connectivity, nothing stays hidden very long. The best way to protect your ideas online is to boldly claim them as your own. Dare the competition and challenge them to respond. Sure, you’ll get your fair share of copycats. But in this case, imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.

And while you’ll naturally get some brand confusion, you’ll also begin to build market momentum. In today’s increasingly complex marketing environment, it can often take five or more impressions to influence a buying decision: ironically, those impressions can come equally from your competition.

So go ahead, speak out. Show the world why you’re the best. And risk being copied, if it means being successful. Remember, wallflowers never have the last dance. And hiding your message will simply squash your brand.

Author: Ashlee Goodman




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