Are you pissed off because someone copied your product design?
Etsy is full of competition with more than half a million sellers listing items on the site. In a market that saturated, you’re likely to encounter someone selling the same product that you have to offer. That might be by chance or because they liked your idea so much they had to sell the same thing.
Copycats for my own jewelry business sprout up consistently.
If only you’d known how frustrated and angry I felt every time I found a copycat. Copycats take complete “inspiration” from my business model, branding, packaging, web copy and product line.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt to help cool the heat (from my boiling blood), it’s from knowing two truths:
- Copycats are temporary
- I’m always two steps ahead of them
Unfortunately, there are still days when the above points don’t make me feel better, because in some cases, they’re no longer fact.
You know what scares me the most?
A business-savvy copycat.
This is someone who I have legitimate fear of actually getting ahead of me.
The person that has investor funding and a full team of marketers.
They come out of nowhere and appear to be an overnight success.
What do I do then?
Every time I feel this way, I pinpoint a personal strength that the copycat doesn’t have.
For me, that strength is my commitment.
Stay Committed and Focused
About three years ago I was faced with my first real competitor that was selling scented jewelry at lower prices (I sell scented food jewelry).
Everywhere I went, blogs and influential people were featuring this new brand.
I felt threatened!
I had trouble sleeping at night. I couldn’t stop thinking about this new drama in my life.
It swallowed me up.
But after a few months as life moved on, despite launching with a bang, the copycat grew very quiet. It was as if they had fallen off the face of the earth.
My own brand is still standing, stronger than ever, and I attribute that to my perseverance!
Stand Out From the Competition
Committed sellers know that being in business for the long run is a lot of hard work.
Read on for a few suggestions about creating a unique customer experience.
Excel at customer service.
• Respond to emails in a polite, friendly, and timely manner (the sooner the better).
• If you’re able to, customize your product to suit their specific needs.
• Made a mistake? Own up to it and fix it right away! Don’t be hostile.
Be a great communicator.
- Use correct spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation in your written communication. (No text speak, i.e. “get bak 2 u soon”)
- Be sure you understand what customers are saying and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s better to get it right the first time!
- Always thank buyers for their purchases. Include a handwritten thank you note with the package, describing how much you enjoyed working with them.
Wrap it up.
- Treat a purchase like a gift. Package it as neatly and beautifully as possible.
- Offer to gift wrap items. If it’s within your budget to do this for free, do it! If not, consider offering the service for a small fee.
- Include a promotional item, like a business card.
Make the details count.
- Is your jewelry made from ethically-sourced stones? Do you create handbags from recycled materials? These facts should be front-and-center on your item descriptions.
- If your items take a long time to create or require intricate processes, let that be known.
- Include an insert in your item’s packaging outlining special details.
Build your business the right way and always take care of your customers.
Over time, your business will grow and easily withstand any temporary threats from copycats.
What are some ways you’ve overcome copycats? How do you regain mental calmness?