It’s every small business owners nightmare: you find and market the perfect product or service only to wake up one morning and find that someone else is producing cheap knock offs of the same thing.
So how do you deal with it? By following our seven steps
1. Offer a better product
It sounds simple, but offering a better product is both the easiest and most effective way to respond to product knock offs. There is always a market for products which improve on the ones that have come before them: make sure you’re consistently looking for ways to improve your product, and you’ll remain one step ahead of the knock off sellers.
2. Create a marketing edge
A great deal of good business comes down to great marketing. This is another area in which it’s easy to gain an advantage over product knock offs. The people who sell knock offs aren’t interested in building a brand, creating a buzz or researching their market. In fact, they want to spend as little time and money as they possibly can on selling more units of their product knock off. By investing in your marketing, you can gain an important edge.
3. Make quality a priority
You’ll never be able to stop knock offs completely. What you must remember, however, is that knock offs have one big disadvantage over your product: their quality.
Most knock offs are cheap, mass-produced copies of quality goods. That’s why they’re sold for so little. By offering a product which is truly high quality, you’ll appeal to those buyers who aspire to owning the real thing, and make it much more difficult for anyone to copy you.
4. Getting a patent does not prevent competition
A patent will help you deal with knock offs to a certain extent. What it won’t do is eliminate the competition. You’ll never completely eliminate the competition. All you can do is rise above them by making sure your product, service and marketing is the best it can possibly be.
5. Target smaller or niche markets where you can have the edge
While you may want to conquer the world with your business, it’s often far more effective to conquer a small part of it by targeting a niche which you can excel in. By concentrating on a niche market you can get to know your clients and their needs inside out, and make sure your product or service is tailor made to fit that niche. Leave the rest of the world to the knock off sellers.
6. Adapt to market changes and trends
In business, you have to adapt or die. By allowing your business to trudge along, doing the same thing in the same way you leave yourself wide open to competitors who are willing to be innovative and to move with the times.
7. Provide exceptional customer service
Businesses which produce knock off products often aren’t interested in customer service. People like to do business with other people they can trust: that may not apply to sellers of knock-off products, but it should apply to you. If it does, you have nothing to fear from product knock offs.
Summary While it’s impossible to completely eliminate product knock offs completely, it is possible to respond to them in such a way that your own sales don’t suffer. This article provides seven steps to help you make sure that your products and service are able to stand up to the competition.