K.U.Leuven - Departement toegepaste economische wetenschappen
DTEW Research Report 0227 pages:1-23
A copycat strategy uses visual similarity to an established leader as a persuasion tool. Although not uncommon in the marketplace, little is known about consumer response to such imitation. Contrary to speculation regarding consumer sensitivity to salient persuasion tactics, we find only conditional evidence that consumers spontaneously penalize brands that blatantly imitate market leaders. The results are discussed in the context of common marketing wisdom regarding the virtues of differentiation.