Clothing Firm Pirated Itself... And It Worked Great

from the competing-in-the-market dept

As fashion designers in the US are, once again, pushing for a misguided new "fashion copyright," it's worth remembering that studies have repeatedly shown that knock off fashions are what help make the fashion industry so successful. They serve a few different purposes. They make the authentic versions appear more valuable (who would knockoff an unpopular fashion?). They help differentiate the market by letting the clothes diffuse to the lower end that would never buy the designer level clothes, and they push designers to keep innovating each year, because they want to keep coming out with something new to stay ahead of the counterfeiters.

Now, it appears that at least one clothing designer decided to use these facts to its own advantage. ReallyEvilCanine writes in to let us know how a South African t-shirt designer made its own counterfeit line of t-shirts and used that to boost the perception of the original line, while also being able to differentiate and sell into different markets:
The brand, Love Jozi, created the "knockoffs" using the name Luv Jozi, and plenty of people picked up on it, at times lamenting how the Love Jozi people must be upset, but noting that "all the biggest brands" get copied. The Love Jozi people let the whole experiment run for about two years before revealing it. However, in the process, they showed that rather than worrying about counterfeits and fakes, there's something to be said for cornering the market on such things yourself. As REC noted in the submission, even when counterfeiters don't "play fair," you can still sell looooooots of t-shirts.

Filed Under: clothing, counterfeit, love jovi, luv jovi, south africa
Companies: love jovi

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  1. icon
    Misanthopist (profile), 21 Sep 2009 @ 1:00pm

    that's good and all..

    That's good and all.. but it is essentially a company diluting its own trademark when done poorly.

    Example: Henckels Knives...

    They are awesome kitchen cutlery. But they were also rather expensive. Til they got tired of the knockoffs making money off their name.

    So they decided to make money off their own name by launching a similarly named low end company.

    My parents saw henckels knives int he store one day for what they thought was an awesome price and immediately got them for me as a present. As it turns out, they were crap, and WAY overpriced crap.

    So you know what? Ever since Henckels decided to cannibalize their own brand recognition in order to eek out a few more percents of profit margin, I have decided they are a shit company and instead of telling everyone how great their knives are, I warn people to stay away lest they get ripped off by paying too much money for cheap crap knives.

    I think the move to cannibalize your reputation is an incredibly short sighted move that ultimately leads to rapid departure from the market.

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