If we look at the reality of the market, the coincidences of many companies in actions, in products and even in the business idea itself are surprising. If copying is politically incorrect, it is a strategy that works and has its advantages, being inspired by the ideas of others allow.
reduce risks. The main benefit of impersonating someone else is that you always have a reference to use as an example. Not someone to copy, but a reference to know how to behave. In addition, if you enter the market early, you share the introductory effort with the pioneer, which is also an advantage for him.
Take the chance. We should also not forget that sometimes it is important to imitate another. In other words, when I have a business and fill a gap that the leader has filled, I’m missing an opportunity that others will take advantage of.
Optimize resources. In the case of SMEs, emulating large corporations is a way to optimize their resources. Those who cannot invest in research and development have no choice but to follow in the footsteps of the leading provider of products and services in order not to be left out of the market. A disability There’s no risk in that as long as they’re looking to innovate in how they manage their channels and customer service. SMEs can offer new solutions there because it requires less investment.
imitate with dignity
The downside to this strategy is that unless you innovate in some way, you run the risk of always being perceived as second best. In the practice of imitation or taking inspiration from others, there are some unwritten rules that are key to success:
Improve the copy. Successful companies rarely copy an idea 100 percent, but they often take inspiration from what others are doing. It’s about taking an idea, modifying it and improving it. And that’s no longer a copy, that’s something else. We must not forget that there is a term for this and it is nothing else but that benchmarking.
The imitation strategy can be seen as a transitional phase. Arriving second at a market isn’t bad, the bad thing is they see you second. The way of this so-called imitator is to convey to the market that since I’m second, I must do better than first.
All of this can be imitated
The opportunities and risks of following in the footsteps of others depend very much on what is being imitated. Copying a business idea from scratch is not the same as already following in the footsteps of the competition in a way with your own company.
products and services
Sometimes the impersonation consists of entering a segment they weren’t in before. This strategy is recommended to gain a piece of market share that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Pricing must be done with great care as the price you quote for a product will determine who you compete with and how the customer will perceive it. You also have to consider whether you are interested in entering into a price war with the competition. In general, the leader is the one who sets the price. And the others follow him in order not to be excluded from the market. We see it in stores all the time. In companies it is more complicated, since, among other things, production margins have to be taken into account.
advertising and communication
If you use a message or colors very similar to the leader’s, you will go unnoticed because you will be mistaken for him. In the end, you give the revenue to the leader.
ideas from other sectors
It is also common to copy and adapt promotions, products or services that have worked well in other sectors to ours. Or adapt the behavior of large companies to apply it to SMBs. The points programs started by supermarkets and airlines are now being transferred to other sectors such as restaurants or dry cleaners.
mimic a business model
Most of the companies that exist in the market are based on the imitation – or inspiration, whatever you want to call it – of an existing business model. There are several reasons why this strategy is advisable.
To take advantage of an opportunity in an emerging market
Seizing an opportunity by mimicking others to enter an emerging market is a winning strategy that explains the proliferation of cruise lines or playgrounds in a very short space of time.
In this case, the key to successful imitation lies in the entrepreneur’s ability to adapt the model to the local market and in his or her ability to innovate while staying ahead of competitors entering the market. To profit from emerging markets, you must not limit yourself to looking for outside ideas. In the Spanish market there are also commercial actions, promotions or business experiences that work in other regions and have not been carried over to all markets.
Get the testimony of a company with a future that was ahead of the market
The moment a market is entered has a major impact. Successful companies like Vip’s had to close some branches in Spain when they started their expansion, probably because the local market was not ready for this formula. Often the success or failure of a business model is not due to mistakes, but to being ahead of the market. And the one that comes after, learns from your experience, takes you as a reference, and says, “Well, now I’m going to do it because it’s time.” It’s a winning formula.
Take advantage of opening up a market previously monopolized by another
In this case, the second entrant is generally doomed to occupy a secondary position in the market. But when the cake is big, it’s a more than appetizing position. Again, your ability to survive and succeed is directly related to your ability to innovate and differentiate yourself from your competition.