I know I said branding was next but I received an overwhelming response to cover a topic and this topic will lead me into branding: What if you know someone is deliberately copying you?
Let me share my experience with this. A certain designer with quite a following stopped by my page and left a comment hi from…and she tagged her company name. It was a little odd but since I knew she was local and because I am friends with other local designers I thought she was maybe looking to reach out to connect. Either that or just fishing for fans. I went to her wall and said hello back and we got to chatting about how nice it was in HB and how I moved a little inland from there after having Marlise and wouldn’t it be great to meet sometime? Overall a nice chat. For the next week she went along liking my posts and making comments. Then it took a turn for the worse.
She posted a picture of ruffles I am known for in the same colors I offer them. Actually a picture of the swatch card from the same vendor I purchase from. The post with the picture read, “Coming soon-what do you think I should make with them?” Many said a dress out of your tee shirts and one said leggings. I posted a comment on the thread saying “that’s what I make with them”. My comment was promptly deleted. I was outraged!
Sure enough she did make ruffle leggings. Later I made gold leggings and metallic pink leggings, a couple weeks later so did she. Coincidence? I think not.
So what did I do? Well, first I complained to my husband who reminded me there was no law to prevent this. “Well she has more fans than me”, I complained. “People may think it was her idea when it was mine.” After I was done complaining I brooded. I thought about leaving mean comments or sending a mean email-but it’s just not my nature. So, I unfanned her. Yep, that was my big move. That and asking my friends not to email me or call me anymore if she copied me. I could not waste another minute worrying about her and if she was going to copy me. Copying is her nature. My focus is designing and setting trends.
There was one small triumph in this story. When she first posted her ruffle leggings a fan went on her page and commented, “Aren’t those kangacoo designs leggings?” (Important to note that this was at her own will-I did not send her. That would be playing dirty and I like to play it clean.) Her comment was promptly deleted too. However, I smiled to myself. Despite the fact that at the time I only had about 2000 fans was still trying to bring awareness to my line I was doing a good job branding those ruffle leggings as a kangacoo design. People recognized them as part of my label.
So now I really will talk about branding next. What steps can you take to be sure people connect a product with your brand/company name?
*Note* Notice that I did not name this other designer. It was on purpose so please don’t try to guess. The only thing I can control in life is my reaction and my interaction. Play clean. Try only to speak good and if you can’t remove that person from your life. Or just unfan them.