01 Mar

Borrowed equity

I wrote some waffle about brand equity, just over a month ago.

Well check out this post for cheeky small businesses that have piggybacked on the brand equity of huge companies.

Here’s some examples from within the post. They’re pretty darn funny… and none too subtle.





Some of the small businesses have created a name incredibly close to the brand they’re trying to imitate, some of them have used the brand’s colours, some have used the brand’s font, and some have done all of these things combined.

It’s naughty, but I can’t imagine the larger brands being overly concerned. In any case – Tesco Vs Tesos, the tiny corner shop, wouldn’t look good as a court case; not from a PR perspective.

What I don’t quite understand is – do these small businesses truly believe that their customers will visit because they think they’re popping into a shop at the level of Tesco/Nando’s/Sainsbury’s, or is it a tongue-in-cheek thing?

The other thing to consider is (just in case anyone believes this level of imitation is good for a start-up business), no business can then grow from someone else’s branding; that’s the point at which the larger company might look at taking the smaller company to court.
Using someone else’s branding also means that your company never had a brand identity to begin with: it was simply built on another company’s existing reputation… so you’d either have to rebrand (expensive) or permanently be associated with that other company.

Borrowing brand equity: funny as a one-off, but terrible as a long-term strategy.

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