Monday , 25 March 2019
Home > Brand strategy & thought pieces > Own label and the tale of the cats that copy

Own label and the tale of the cats that copy

own labelBranding is a curious thing, own label branding is fast becoming a bold, aggressive thing.

We strategy consultants research, hypothesise, think, build and fix brands every day but increasingly we are seeing those pesky own label brands decide to go for the jugular and take the market share of these expensively built brands through copycat design.

This copycat design is designed to confuse consumers into buying own label.

[private]Ethically there is a massive question mark as to whether they should be able to copy designs to such a degree, the answer is no they should not but the smart ones in the gallery below put the marketing idea to their designers as such:
"Edit this to look exactly like Brand x, but far enough away that we do not get sued"
As a brand purist it upsets me to see these copycats creeping in, effectively stealing the great work of others that typically costs around £70,000 - £200,000 to produce when you factor in strategy and creative development (not to mention cost of printing and production).

What do you think of own labels who copycat the big boys in an effort to obtain a chunk of the brand's equity?

On the flip side there are a couple of great own label brands out there. One of my favourites is Duane Reade in New York. In their brand strategy, they have taken the excitement, the love and the uniqueness of being from New York and crafted quintessentially NYC packaging design that celebrates the icons through clever barcode play. Not only does it show bold ambition to step up from the masses of own label product ranges out there but also a step-change from those retailers copying the great and the good of packaging design out there. They are saying 'hey, we're Duane Reade, we're from NYC and that will come through every brand touchpoint, we're your local domestic own label brand'. I think there is a real opportunity here for own label brands to actually stand out as iconic in their own right, and due to the proliferation of product through their own retail establishment, the recognition and return on a sizeable packaging design investment could be immeasurable.

What do you think of own label brands and how they are acting within the retail and packaging design arena?

[gallery columns="4" ids="1721,1728,1725,1726,1727,1724,1723,1720,1722,1730,1729,1731,1732,1733,1736,1734"] [/private]

About GregDillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic. Feel free to email him at: or follow on Twitter @StratTalking

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