Copying the counterfeits

A recent New York Times article (paywall) caught my eye - it was all about "knock off" goods on Canal Street, New York.  But there was a twist, these ones were genuine.

The concept of genuine fakes is usually applied to counterfeits which, the counterfeiting salesperson claims, are so close to the original as to be virtually indistinguishable.  Whilst such sales talk rarely matches the reality, there is no doubt that the quality gap between genuine and fake goods is starting to contract.

Some brand owners are taking an "if you can't beat them" join them approach to the counterfeiting.  For example, Diesel recently set up shop on Canal Street where the founder, Renzo Rosso, sold out the Deisel stock in the space of a weekend.  Like counterfeit goods, the Deisel goods were sold at a much lower price point and from a temporary "pop up" stall.

Diesel apparently sees some long term potential in the idea, the above logo was filed at the USPTO in early February.  In fact this may be something of a fashion trend.... As the New York Times article notes, Gucci recently embraced the "Guccy" brand.  In addition to their range of Guccy goods, the GUCCY mark was filed by Gucci in Italy, Brazil and as an IR in 2017.

Is this the solution to counterfeiting  i.e. undermine the business model and generate new buzz for the brand at the same time.  It won't work for every brand but it's a fun trend to watch take shape.

Copying the counterfeits Copying the counterfeits Reviewed by Rosie Burbidge on Friday, February 16, 2018 Rating: 5

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